×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Producer to Pay $60 Million in Malaysia Corruption Case

Red Granite Pictures has agreed to pay $60 million to the U.S. government in order to resolve allegations that it profited from a massive Malaysian corruption scandal.

The company, which produced “The Wolf of Wall Street” among other films, filed a joint stipulation with federal prosecutors on Tuesday. Under the agreement, Red Granite does not admit to any wrongdoing.

“We are glad to finally put this matter behind us and look forward to refocusing all of our attention back on our film business,” the company said in a statement.

Prosecutors filed a civil asset forfeiture action against the company in July 2016, as part of a much broader effort to recoup more than $1 billion allegedly embezzled from 1MDB, a Malaysian state-run development fund. The Justice Department has accused financier Jho Low of masterminding a scheme to steal $4.5 billion from the fund.

Riza Aziz, the CEO of Red Granite, is the stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister and a close friend of Low’s. Prosecutors alleged that he used more than $100 million taken from 1MDB to finance “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Daddy’s Home.”

The agreement provides that Red Granite will make the forfeiture payment in three installments: $30 million within 30 days, $20 million within the next 180 days, and the final $10 million within 180 days after that.

While the case has been pending, Paramount Pictures has held Red Granite’s profits from “Daddy’s Home.” Under the agreement, Paramount will transfer that amount to an account controlled by the government. After the first forfeiture payment of $30 million, the government will release $3 million of the Paramount funds to Red Granite, to cover its operating expenses for the following 180 days. The balance of the Paramount funds will be released to the company upon full payment of the forfeiture.

Red Granite can apply to receive some of the Paramount funds early, but only if for “ordinary course” transactions. Under the terms of the settlement, Aziz is not drawing any salary from Red Granite above what is required to maintain health insurance coverage. That will continue until the $60 million is paid in full.

Aziz has claimed that he never knowingly used stolen funds for his film projects. Aziz was also accused of using stolen funds to buy luxury real estate, including a $35 million condominium in New York, a $41.8 million London townhouse, and a $17.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills. The government is also seeking to seize those properties.

As part of the case, the government has also taken possession of three artworks that Low and an associate gifted to Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” DiCaprio also agreed to turn over an Oscar that had been awarded to Marlon Brando, and which Red Granite had given him as a gift. DiCaprio was not accused of wrongdoing.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content