returns Brando Oscar as part of Malaysian laundering
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[June 16, 2017]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Oscar won by
Marlon Brando to U.S. investigators probing alleged
money laundering by a state-owned Malaysian investment
fund, his representatives said on Thursday.
DiCaprio has also initiated the return of other, unidentified
items that the actor said he accepted as gifts for a charity
auction and which originated from people connected to the 1MDB
wealth fund, they said in a statement.
In July, Hollywood production company Red Granite was accused in
a U.S. civil lawsuit of using $100 million that prosecutors said
had been diverted from the 1MDB fund to finance DiCaprio's 2013
film "The Wolf of Wall Street," in which he starred.
DiCaprio said in October he was cooperating with the probe and
would return any gifts or donations if they were found to have
come from questionable sources.
"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," Thursday's statement said.
"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,'" the
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, set up in 1998, supports a
range of environmental projects.
In a new filing on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice
moved to seize artwork by Picasso and Basquiat that it said had
been purchased with laundered Malaysian money and gifted to
DiCaprio by associates of Red Granite.
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It was not clear from DiCaprio's statement whether he had already
returned the two paintings, and a Diane Arbus photograph that was
also listed in the DOJ legal filing.
Thursday's filing also sought to seize the assets of two other Red
Granite produced films which investigators allege were financed by
money from the 1MDB fund - the 2014 comedy "Dumb and Dumber To"
starring Jim Carrey, and 2015 comedy "Daddy's Home" starring Will
Los Angeles-based Red Granite Pictures said in a statement on
Thursday it was "actively engaged in discussions with the Justice
Department aimed at resolving these civil cases and is fully
Representatives of Carrey and Ferrell did not immediately return
calls for comment.
(Corrects paragraph 7 to say 1998 instead of 1988)
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Richard Chang)
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