Wolf of Wall Street producer arrested in Malaysia over money laundering
Riza Aziz, the stepson of the former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering
Riza Aziz, who produced The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was detained in Malaysia and bailed. US prosecutors have accused Aziz's production company of misappropriating money from a multi-billion dollar state fund to finance the film. Aziz's stepfather and mother have both been charged with corruption.
Aziz will appear in court on Friday to face charges, said Latheefa Koya, the head of Malaysia's anti-corruption agency. He has denied any wrongdoing. His production company, Red Granite, has already settled a civil lawsuit with the US government.
Aziz faces more than 40 charges and is accused of pocketing $681m (£540m) from the state fund. His wife, Rosmah Mansor, has been charged with money-laundering and tax evasion. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have said the money was used to fund an exceptionally lavish lifestyle. Raids on properties linked to Aziz after he was lost power in May 2018 uncovered luxury goods worth millions of dollars.
DiCaprio won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor for The Wolf of Wall Street and thanked Aziz in his acceptance speech. The US Justice Department has also accused Red Granite Pictures of using 1MDB funds, which is a Malaysian state fund, set up in 2009 to promote development through foreign investment and partnerships of producing the films Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy's Home. The company denies any wrongdoing.