Wolf of Wall Street producer Red Granite has agreed to forfeit $60 million to the U.S. government as part of a federal investigation involving a fund known as 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB. When the terms are met, the deal will put to an end to the film company’s exposure.
As per the agreement filed today (read it here), Red Granite admits no guilt.
Red Granite and its co-founder and CEO Raza Aziz, the stepson of the Malaysian Prime Minister, have been cooperating with an investigation in part into the company’s money relationships involving the state-run fund. Financier Low Taek Jho (known as Jho Lo), a friend of Aziz and his family, and who received a “special thanks” in the Wolf Of Wall Street credits, is accused of stealing as much as $4.5 billion from the fund.
The company must pay the $60 million forfeiture in three installments: $30 million within the first 30 days, $20 million 180 days after the first payment, and $10 million 180 days after that.
As part of the deal, Aziz will draw no salary (other than to keep up his health insurance plaan) until the full amount is paid. Assets from the company’s movie Daddy’s Home, previously held by the film’s distributor Paramount, will be held in a government fund and used to help pay off the debt; after the first payment, $3 million from the fund will be given to Red Granite to continue operations.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak turned 1MDB into a state-run entity in 2009, ostensibly to help the economic well-being of Malaysia. But the DOJ says funds were “stolen” from 1MD, alleging a a vast scheme carried out by co-conspirators to enrich themselves.
In June 2017, the DOJ filed to seize all rights to Red Granite films Daddy’s Home and Dumb And Dumber To and Daddy’s Home, along with real estate, jewelry, a jet, artwork of Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, Basquiat and Diane Arbus, and movie posters including an original of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis valued at $1.3M.