Leonardo DiCaprio has reportedly secretly testified before a Washington, DC grand jury as part of a federal investigation into a Malaysian government investment fund.
The case, which involves some of the highest members of the Malaysian government and some major U.S. investors, centers on financier Low Taek Jho. Low allegedly stole and laundered billions of dollars from the investment fund, then financed a lobbying campaign to end the federal investigation.
The Washington Post reports DiCaprio is not a target of the probe. Reports indicate that DiCaprio is considered a witness who can provide insights into Low, which may help the ongoing investigation into his activities.
Court papers have alleged that the relationship between Low and DiCaprio involved allowing the actor to gamble on his tab at the Venetian casino in Las Vegas; giving him artwork; and helping him get funding for the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
In 2016, prosecutors tried to seize proceeds from the film, which allegedly was financed in part with stolen funds routed to a production company co-founded by the former Malaysian prime minister’s stepson. DiCaprio thanked Low by name in accepting a Golden Globe for his role in the film.
Prosecutors later seized a Picasso painting from DiCaprio they said was purchased with $3.2 million in stolen funds and given to DiCaprio by an associate of Low’s.
Low was charged in New York federal court last year with theft and money laundering. Prosecutors have also looked at related cases involving former Goldman Sachs bankers who may have been involved, as well as a Justice Department employee who helped the Low lobbying campaign to end the investigation.
DiCaprio is one of the highest profile people identified so far as testifying in the case, but he’s not the only one. The Washington Post reports Fugees rapper Prakazrel “Pras” Michel was involved in setting up accounts to make payments for Low’s lobbying effort on the investigations. Michael also reportedly hired the owner of an investment firm to intercede with the Trump administration. Michael has denied the allegations.
The Post said DiCaprio declined comment on his activity through a spokesman. He has acknowledged in the past that he was cooperating.
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