Riza Aziz, the famous Hollywood film wold of wall street producer in an ongoing investigation, has been charged with five counts of money laundering. If found guilty, the Malaysian producer could get five years in prison and fine up to 1.2 million US dollars.
Wolf of Wall Street and Malaysian IMDB Scandal
According to the lawsuit filed against Aziz, he took 248 million US dollars from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which is a state investment fund established by his step-father, the disgraced former prime minister of Malaysia Najib Razak who lost elections to Mahathir Mohammad due to the same corruption scandal.
The swindled money was allegedly used to purchase luxury properties in California, New York, and London. Aziz further used the money to falsely project his company as a high flying Hollywood production house. Another lawsuit filed against him by American investigators have already shown that two of his productions “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dumb and Dumber To” also received financing from the same money.
Riza managed to get the lawsuit settled after he paid the US government approximately 60 million dollars. The Malaysian anticorruption commission filed money laundering charges against him when evidence showing his alleged involvement in helping Najib laundering money came forth.
Involvement of Riza Aziz’s Mother In the Case
His mother Rosmah Mansor is also under investigation for corruption and money laundering charges. Jho Low, Aziz’s friend who is reportedly the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal, is hiding out somewhere in China. He is wanted for various charges by both Malaysia and the US.
According to the US Department of justice, Razak diverted $4.5 billion from 1MDB to his co-conspirators in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates hence making this one of the biggest money laundering cases ever.
Aziz Was Taken In For Questioning before Court
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission questioned Aziz in July regarding his involvement in the case. On Thursday the commission arrested him at noon for his alleged involvement. He was later released on bail and told to return to court on Friday to face formal charges.
Aziz arrived at a Kuala Lumpur court on Friday with his eight-man legal defense team. The judge read the formal charges placed on him and noted his response. He set the bail at one million ringgit
Despite the defense lawyer’s constant request to pay the bail in two installments the judge refused and ordered him to hand over his travel documents. The Wolf of Wall Street producers will appear before the court on the 9th of August this year.