As expected, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has gone ahead with the filing of lawsuits in an attempt to freeze assets connected to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.
The FBI says that some $3.5 billion has been misappropriated from the Malaysian government backed fund. Money or assets that passed through the U.S. or the U.S. banking system would be subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
The suits were filed in Los Angeles and seek to seize properties “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB,” Reuters reported.
Named in the suits as a “relevant individual” is Riza Aziz, step son of the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Aziz was a financier and producer of 2013 Martin Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was produced by Red Granite Pictures. The suits also name Jho Low, a financier of the movie, who received a special mention in the credits.
Razak is not directly named in the suits. The appearance of some $700 million, which many believe to have come from 1MDB, in his personal bank accounts has been the cause of huge political ructions in Malaysia.