The US Department of Justice launched a probe due to claims that stolen Malaysian public money was laundered through the US financial system, and filed lawsuits seeking some $1.7 billion in assets allegedly purchased with the cash.
In its civil suits, the department said more than $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB by high-level officials at the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2015.
Tens of millions of dollars in stolen money was used in 2012 by Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, an aspiring film producer, to fund the Hollywood film “The Wolf of Wall Street”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Hundreds of millions were used, mainly by Riza and Low, to purchase high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, a Monet painting for $35 million, a Van Gogh for $5.5 million, a $35-million Bombardier jet, a $100-million stake in EMI Music Publishing, and a $250 million yacht.
The US Department of Justice believes $4.5 billion in total was looted from 1MDB.