Actor DiCaprio feels the heat of 1MDB scandal

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DiCaprio_Jho Low
DiCaprio and Malaysian “financier” Jho Low

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, starring in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a movie believed to have been indirectly financed by funds misappropriated from Malaysia’s state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), is getting entangled in the scandal after revelations that his environmental charity fund has received contributions from 1MDB – and he himself possibly also.

DiCaprio reportedly used those funds for “charity galas” meant to raise more funds for environmental projects but described by The Hollywood Reporter as “bacchanals” featuring opulent dinners and “Slavic hostesses in bustiers.”

The paper wrote that DiCaprio’s July 20 gala in St Tropez held under the motto of saving the environment was nothing more than a celebrity party with “guests helicoptered in to dine on whole sea bass after watching a short film about the dangers of overfishing”.

The report revealed said that Jho Low, one of the leading figures in the misappropriation of 1MDB funds and a close friend of Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was a “drinking buddy” of DiCaprio.

The Hollywood Reporter also revealed that DiCaprio’s foundation had received $3 million in “donations” from Jho Low through the purchase of marked-up bottles of champagne at DiCaprio’s birthday party in 2013.

That said, the actors involvement in the events surrounding the 1MDB scandal seems to turn into a troublesome reputational issue for the Academy Award winner.

The Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss-based foundation devoted to Sarawak rainforest conservation and empowering indigenous people, has written a letter to DiCaprio, urging him to pay back any funds he or his foundation received from 1MDB, or people with ties to the fund.

“We are deeply disturbed that Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation accepted assets that originate from the proceeds of corruption in Malaysia. This is a disgrace and in total contradiction with the declared aims of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation”, said Lukas Straumann, Director of the Bruno Manser Fund.

“We call on Di Caprio to apologise and pay back all this dirty money to the Malaysian people,” he added.

The letter has also been sent to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, justice official M. Kendall Day and Boris Collardi, CEO of investment bank Julius Baer, a sponsor of DiCaprio’s charity.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that more than $3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, and has opened an investigation.

In a lawsuit filed by the DoJ on July 20, which seeks to to seize more than $1 billion in 1MDB assets, DiCaprio is referred to as “Hollywood Actor 1.” In the suit, the DoJ specifically mentioned how Low had also gambled for approximately seven days at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas after $11 million – from funds allegedly siphoned from 1MDB – were deposited into his account at the casino during the same trip in 2012.

According to the DoJ, DiCaprio had apparently used money from Low’s account while in Las Vegas, with DoJ records showing a total withdrawal of $1.15 million in one day.

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[caption id="attachment_28851" align="alignleft" width="300"] DiCaprio and Malaysian "financier" Jho Low[/caption] Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, starring in "The Wolf of Wall Street," a movie believed to have been indirectly financed by funds misappropriated from Malaysia's state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), is getting entangled in the scandal after revelations that his environmental charity fund has received contributions from 1MDB - and he himself possibly also. DiCaprio reportedly used those funds for "charity galas" meant to raise more funds for environmental projects but described by The Hollywood Reporter as "bacchanals" featuring opulent dinners and "Slavic hostesses in bustiers." The paper wrote that...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

DiCaprio_Jho Low
DiCaprio and Malaysian “financier” Jho Low

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, starring in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a movie believed to have been indirectly financed by funds misappropriated from Malaysia’s state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), is getting entangled in the scandal after revelations that his environmental charity fund has received contributions from 1MDB – and he himself possibly also.

DiCaprio reportedly used those funds for “charity galas” meant to raise more funds for environmental projects but described by The Hollywood Reporter as “bacchanals” featuring opulent dinners and “Slavic hostesses in bustiers.”

The paper wrote that DiCaprio’s July 20 gala in St Tropez held under the motto of saving the environment was nothing more than a celebrity party with “guests helicoptered in to dine on whole sea bass after watching a short film about the dangers of overfishing”.

The report revealed said that Jho Low, one of the leading figures in the misappropriation of 1MDB funds and a close friend of Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was a “drinking buddy” of DiCaprio.

The Hollywood Reporter also revealed that DiCaprio’s foundation had received $3 million in “donations” from Jho Low through the purchase of marked-up bottles of champagne at DiCaprio’s birthday party in 2013.

That said, the actors involvement in the events surrounding the 1MDB scandal seems to turn into a troublesome reputational issue for the Academy Award winner.

The Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss-based foundation devoted to Sarawak rainforest conservation and empowering indigenous people, has written a letter to DiCaprio, urging him to pay back any funds he or his foundation received from 1MDB, or people with ties to the fund.

“We are deeply disturbed that Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation accepted assets that originate from the proceeds of corruption in Malaysia. This is a disgrace and in total contradiction with the declared aims of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation”, said Lukas Straumann, Director of the Bruno Manser Fund.

“We call on Di Caprio to apologise and pay back all this dirty money to the Malaysian people,” he added.

The letter has also been sent to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, justice official M. Kendall Day and Boris Collardi, CEO of investment bank Julius Baer, a sponsor of DiCaprio’s charity.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that more than $3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, and has opened an investigation.

In a lawsuit filed by the DoJ on July 20, which seeks to to seize more than $1 billion in 1MDB assets, DiCaprio is referred to as “Hollywood Actor 1.” In the suit, the DoJ specifically mentioned how Low had also gambled for approximately seven days at the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas after $11 million – from funds allegedly siphoned from 1MDB – were deposited into his account at the casino during the same trip in 2012.

According to the DoJ, DiCaprio had apparently used money from Low’s account while in Las Vegas, with DoJ records showing a total withdrawal of $1.15 million in one day.

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