A federal judge has agreed to the appointment of an independent financial overseer at Red Granite Pictures, as the company seeks to work with the U.S. Attorney’s office to resolve its piece of a massive corruption case.
The government alleges that Red Granite used funds that were embezzled from Malaysia to produce at least three films: “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Daddy’s Home,” and “Dumb and Dumber To.” The U.S. is seeking to seize Red Granite’s portion of the proceeds from those films as part of a much broader effort to recoup funds allegedly stolen from 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In a court filing, U.S. prosecutors and Red Granite agreed to the appointment of an “independent operational fiduciary,” who will be able to examine the company’s books and oversee transactions for a period of at least 30 days. Among the official’s responsibilities will be “maximizing Red Granite’s value as a going concern” as well as to “preserve and protect Red Granite’s assets pending a settlement among the Parties or further order of the Court.”
The government has claimed that $4.5 billion in total was stolen from the Malaysian development fund, and used to buy luxury real estate, fine art and a yacht. Last month, the government moved to take possession of three artworks that had been given as gifts to Leonardo DiCaprio.
Red Granite, whose CEO Riza Aziz is the stepson of the Malaysian prime minister, has maintained that it did not knowingly take stolen funds.
Judge Dale Fischer, who had rejected the appointment agreement when it was first proposed, signed off on the plan on Friday. The overseer will be paid by Red Granite, and is expected to be appointed within the next week.