World

US to sell three luxury homes linked to 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR: US prosecutors are seeking to sell three luxury homes linked to the stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, court documents showed, in the latest effort to recover money allegedly stolen from Malaysian fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Malaysian and US authorities allege that about US$4.5 billion (S$6.2 billion) was misappropriated from 1MDB.

Since 2016, the US Department of Justice has filed forfeiture lawsuits on about US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds, including a private jet, luxury real estate and jewellery. The US has started returning to Malaysia some US$200 million recovered from the sale of seized assets.

On Wednesday, US prosecutors and the holding companies for three luxury properties asked a California court to lift a stay on forfeiture proceedings so that the properties can be sold.

The properties include a US$27.97 million London townhouse, a US$17.5 million home in Beverly Hills, and a US$35.5 million condominium in New York allegedly purchased by Najib's stepson Riza Aziz using funds diverted from 1MDB. - REUTERS

COURT & CRIME