Riza Aziz, the company’s CEO, is identified as a central figure in the civil forfeiture suit filed Wednesday by the Justice Department — the largest such case ever filed involving offshore corruption. The suit seeks the return of $1 billion in allegedly misappropriated funds which originated with the 1MDB development fund. Aziz is the stepson of Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the company said its executives did not knowingly use illicit funds.
“To Red Granite’s knowledge, none of the funding it received four years ago was in any way illegitimate and there is nothing in today’s civil lawsuit claiming that Red Granite knew otherwise,” the company said. “Red Granite continues to cooperate fully with all inquiries and is confident that when the facts come out, it will be clear that Riza Aziz and Red Granite did nothing wrong.”
Aziz has previously denied taking money from 1MDB. “There is no Malaysian money,” he told the New York Times when questions were raised about the issue in 2014.
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The forfeiture suit contends, however, that Red Granite Pictures received $64 million that traced back to 1MDB. The lawsuit seeks the return of any future revenues from “The Wolf of Wall Street” that are due to Red Granite.
In its statement, Red Granite said the suit will not affect its ongoing operations.
“Red Granite does not expect the lawsuit – which is limited to future proceeds generated by a single film, and which was not filed against Red Granite or any of its employees – to impact its day to day operations, and the company continues to move forward with exciting new projects,” the company said.