The production company, Red Granite, has found themselves the target of a government investigation for their alleged involvement in a money-laundering scheme that the Department of Justicesays are traceable to foreign corruption.
Leonardo DiCaprio was given the Marlon Brando‘s Oscar by Red Granite, who helped finance The Wolf of Wall Street. The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Sectionput out a new government filing in order to seize rights to films and recover a bevy of items allegedly obtained with the illegal finances, Deadline reported.
To assist the investigation, DiCaprio contacted the D.O.J. to return items that may have been tied to the investigation — including Brando’s Oscar, a Picasso painting, purchased for $3.28 million for DiCaprio, a $750,000 Diane Arbus photograph, and a Jean-Michel Basquait collage worth nearly $10 million.
DiCario’s rep said in a statement,
“Last July, upon hearing of the government’s civil action against certain parties involved in the making of ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’, Mr. DiCaprio’s representatives – working under his instruction – initiated contact with the Department of Justice. This effort was to determine if there were any gifts or charitable donations originating from the parties named in the civil complaint, and to offer the return of any such gifts or donations with the aid and instruction of the government.
Prior to the government’s filing of the civil pleading today, Mr. DiCaprio initiated return of these items, which were received and accepted by him for the purpose of being included in an annual charity auction to benefit his eponymous foundation. He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr. DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on The ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’.
Mr. DiCaprio is grateful for the support of the government in this effort, and continues to hope that justice is done in this matter.”
Variety reports that Red Granite is accused of drawing upwards of $4.5 billion from a fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which was started in 2009 by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as a state-run entity.
The production company was said to put up $100 million for The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as donate to DiCaprio’s charity foundation and pay for an expensive gambling night with the actor in Las Vegas.
Red Granite remains in operation, and claims that it did not knowingly receive stolen funds.
DiCaprio currently has no plans to turn over the money he got for The Wolf of Wall Street.
(Top photo, Pacific Coast News; via People)