×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Pauses ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Corruption Case

A federal judge on Wednesday agreed to pause the asset forfeiture case against Red Granite Pictures, as investigators continue to pursue criminal charges in the sprawling 1MDB scandal.

Red Granite is accused of using funds embezzled from the Malaysian development fund to finance “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Daddy’s Home,” and “Dumb and Dumber To.” The government is seeking to seize revenues from each of those films. In a court filing objecting to the delay, Red Granite’s attorneys noted that the company “has a strong interest in clearing its name promptly.”

Judge Dale S. Fischer was set to hear arguments on the issue next Monday. Instead, she granted the government’s request for a delay without argument in a written ruling.

“The government has stated that the revelation of discoverable facts in these cases could reveal investigative methods of the investigation, subject witnesses and informants to intimidation or retaliation, and raise the potential for evidence destruction,” she wrote. “Given the complex nature of the alleged crimes and the sensitive political and diplomatic issues involved, it is apparent that revelation of any significant amount of information by the government could endanger the operation of the criminal investigation.”

Red Granite has issued optimistic statements about ongoing negotiations with the prosecution, and has expressed hope of reaching a settlement. However, in a filing on Sept. 5, prosecutors identified the company’s CEO, Riza Aziz, as among those allegedly involved in “underlying criminal activity.” Aziz is the stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak.

Popular on Variety

In a motion in a related forfeiture case, Aziz’s attorneys blasted the government’s requested stay as a violation of due process rights.

“To Claimant’s knowledge, there is literally no precedent for a stay that would require claimants to wait in limbo indefinitely as the government pursues an investigation with no specified target and no foreseeable end,” wrote attorney Matthew Schwartz.

More Film

  • Cathy Yan Birds of Prey Director

    'Birds of Prey' Director Cathy Yan Reveals the Crucial Advice Patty Jenkins Gave Her

    Just months after Cathy Yan’s feature directing debut, Shanghai-set ensemble comedy “Dead Pigs,” made a big splash at Sundance in 2018, the Chinese-born filmmaker landed a gig helming a giant studio franchise movie, the DC Comics adaptation “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” starring Margot Robbie. Going straight from indie buzz [...]

  • Gloria Allred

    Gloria Allred Rips Apart Weinstein's Defense Team for 'Putting the Blame on Women'

    Shortly after Harvey Weinstein accuser Miriam Haley took the stand and testified that she was sexually assaulted by the fallen movie mogul over a decade ago, her attorney Gloria Allred ripped apart Weinstein’s defense team, speaking to press outside of the courthouse. During the six-hour testimony, Haley told the jury that Weinstein forcibly performed oral [...]

  • The Man Standing Next

    Korea Box Office: ‘Man Standing Next’ Dominates Holiday Weekend With $25 Million Haul

    Locally-made political drama, “The Man Standing Next” dominated the four-day Lunar New Year holiday weekend box office in South Korea. Opening on Wednesday (Jan. 22), the Showbox release earned $24.5 million from 3.23 million admissions over its opening six days. It accounted for more than 53% of the total holiday weekend box office. Set 40 [...]

  • The Last Thing He Wanted

    'The Last Thing He Wanted': Film Review

    Writer-director Dee Rees’ career continues to be a fascinating journey to follow. From her breakthrough feature debut, the soulful coming-of-age indie “Pariah,” to the Oscar-nominated literary adaptation “Mudbound,” the filmmaker has been confidently expanding her range with every new effort. That gutsy spirit is very much at the center of her latest, “The Last Thing [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Oscar Win Dear Basketball

    Kobe Bryant's Death Cuts Short a Promising Second Act in Entertainment

    In all things, Kobe Bryant was nothing if not exacting. He was driven, demanding and relentless in pursuit of greatness. His tragic death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 at the age of 41, an accident that also took his 13-year-old daughter and seven others, means that the entertainment industry will never know what [...]

  • Liselott Forsman

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond CEO Liselott Forsman on 2020, a Record Budget, Growth

    The Nordisk Film & TV Fond is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a new CEO at the helm: Writer, producer and chair of the EBU Fiction Expert Group Liselott Forsman. This week, the executive heads to the Göteborg Film Festival as one of the event’s key figures. There, she will preside the Nordisk Film & [...]

  • 'Surge' Review: Ben Whishaw Wigs Out

    'Surge': Film Review

    There’s mannered, there’s manic, and then there’s the malfunctioning pinball-machine delirium that Ben Whishaw brings to “Surge”: a blinking, buzzing, flashing clatter of hyper-accelerated impulses, chicken-fried synapses and staggered hypnic jerks that never culminate in sleep. You wouldn’t expect stillness from a film called “Surge,” and in that respect only does Whishaw zig where you [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content