PETALING JAYA (September 25): Production company Red Granite Pictures has paid off the balance of its US$60 million (RM234 million) settlement with the US government
Red Granite had been accused of using more than $100 million embezzled from 1MDB, The American magazine Variety reported that in an agreement reached with federal prosecutors in March, Red Granite had promised to make the forfeiture payment in three instalments. The settlement is to resolve allegations of profiting from corrupt money involving the investment fund 1MDB.
Under the deal, Red Granite did not admit to any wrongdoing.
According to Variety, the company paid the final instalment four months ahead of schedule.
“Red Granite paid its obligation to the government in full,” Red Granite was quoted as saying in a statement. “The company is pleased to put this matter behind it.”
Variety quoted an insider source, who said that Red Granite borrowed from Brevet Capital in order to finance the settlement. The funds are supposed to ultimately be returned to the Malaysian government, once certain processing fees are paid.
The civil asset forfeiture action was filed in July 2016 as part of efforts to recoup over US$1 billion allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
Money taken from 1MDB was alleged to have been used to finance “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Daddy’s Home”.
1MDB have denied any wrongdoing.
Riza Aziz, co-founder of Red Granite, allegedly bought several luxury properties with the stolen funds which are likely to be seized, and is to face criminal charges.
His stepfather Najib has recently been charged with 32 charges of money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust related to 1MDB. His mother Rosmah Mansor has also been probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.