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Riza Aziz, the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, which famously produced the 2014 hit The Wolf of Wall Street, is expected to be questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday, according to numerous media reports in Malaysia.
The 48-year-old stepson of embattled former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, himself a central figure in multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal and under investigation since losing power in May, Aziz is alleged to have received $238 million in laundered money from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund in 2012, money which — according to the U.S. Justice Department — was used to fund luxury properties in Beverly Hills, New York and London, alongside helping set up Red Granite Pictures.
Aziz, who hasn’t been seen in public in the U.S. since the premiere of the Red Granite-produced Daddy’s Home in December 2015, founded the production company with Joey McFarland in 2010, launching with a spectacular party in Cannes in 2011 as they announced The Wolf of Wall Street, which would star Leonardo DiCaprio (who also produced).
Aziz is also a known associate of Jho Low, the colorful playboy considered the prime suspect in the 1MBD scandal and now a fugitive, believed to be avoiding extradition between Taiwan, Hong Kong and Thailand. Low was also given “special thanks” in the credits for The Wolf of Wall Street.
Red Granite, which in March agreed to pay $60 million to U.S. authorities to settle allegations that it was financed with money siphoned from 1MDB, is still reportedly in business, but has just one film on its upcoming slate, the big-budget remake of Papillon, due for release by Bleecker Street in August. However, on the film’s recently poster, the company wasn’t present, with the film listed as a “Joey McFarland Production.”
Since he lost a shock election in May, Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor (Aziz’s mother), have become the focus of an intense investigation in Malaysia, with both banned from leaving the country and expected to face arrest soon.
Last month, police seized jewelry, handbags and watches worth up to $273 million from raids on properties linked to the pair. The value of Hermes handbags — a known favorite of Mansor’s — alone was put at $12.7 million.
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