World

$209m from 1MDB went to making Wolf of Wall Street?

Millions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly used to make the 2013 hit Hollywood movie The Wolf Of Wall Street, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The financial daily has been running stories on the alleged mishandling of funds from the Malaysian sovereign fund.

In its latest report, WSJ said RM603 million (S$209 million) from 1MDB went to production company Red Granite Pictures.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's stepson Riza Aziz, 39, is the chairman of Red Granite, a production movie house set up in 2010, said Malaysian liberal news portal Malaysiakini citing WSJ reports.

The Wolf Of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, made about US$400 million (S$540 million) at the box office and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

"There is no indication any profits from it flowed to 1MDB or Malaysia," WSJ said in the report.

"The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued subpoenas to several current and former employees of Red Granite and to a bank and an accounting firm the company used, according to people familiar with the subpoenas," said the WSJ report.

INVESTIGATION

A spokesman for Red Granite said the company was "responding to all inquiries and cooperating fully" with the investigation.

He added that the production house had no reason to believe the source of its financing was irregular.

Mr Riza had previously denied that Red Granite was funded by money originating from Malaysia.

He said in a 2014 New York Times interview that its main investor was Abu Dhabi businessman Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.

Both Mr Najib and 1MDB have consistently denied wrongdoing, with Mr Najib saying that all the controversy plaguing him was part of a conspiracy to topple him.

malaysiaNajib Razak1MDBUncategorisedmovie