Penang-born tycoon Jho Low withdrew US$1.15 million from his account at a Las Vegas casino to gamble with several individuals, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz, and the lead actor of Hollywood film ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, said the US Department of Justice (DOJ)
In its civil suits to seize assets allegedly acquired by siphoning funds from 1MDB, the department listed the US$1.15 million ( RM 4.6 million ) as part of US$41 million ( RM 166 million ) purportedly diverted from 1MDB by Riza to pay off gambling expenses for himself, Low, and their associate Eric Tan Kim Loong.
“On or about July 15, 2012, Low withdrew an aggregate cash amount of US$1,150,090 ( RM 4.6 million ) at the Venetian Casino: US$500,000 as a withdrawal of deposit, and US$650,090 as redemption of casino chips and other gaming instruments.
“Several individuals gambled with Low on this occasion, using his account. These individuals included Aziz; Red Granite Pictures co-founder Christopher ‘Joey’ McFarland; a lead actor in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Hollywood Actor 1); and a former chief investment officer of 1MDB,” said the DOJ.
Though not naming the “Hollywood Actor 1″, the documents, however, said the individual had won a Golden Globe award in 2014 for his role in the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’. This is an obvious reference to Hollywood leading man Leonardo di Caprio, who won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy during the 2014 Golden Globe awards.
The only other Golden Globe nomination for the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ was for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, which it did not win. The DOJ claimed that Riza’s US$41 million ( RM 166 million ) gambling funds was part of the US$238 million ( RM 965 million ) Aabar BVI had transferred to a Singaporean bank account for Riza’s production firm, Red Granite Pictures, in 2012.
According to the department, Aabar BVI, a British Virgin Islands company set up with a similar name “to give the impression that it was”, had received US$1.367 billion ( RM 5.5 billion ) diverted from bonds raised by 1MDB for power purchase agreements in 2012.
Besides paying for gambling, Red Granite is also accused of using US$64 million ( RM 259 million ) of the money siphoned from 1MDB to finance the production of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. Red Granite has denied knowingly using illicit funds to make the film.
Source : Malaysiakini