Has Riza Aziz struck a deal with the Department of Justice, without Malaysian Official 1’s help and ditching chubby spender pal Jho Low?
That speculation comes as his Red Granite Pictures assured late Monday that it is still in business and will just segregate all future income from the Wolf of Wall Street movie, which the DoJ claimed had used money pilfered from Malaysia’s debt-heavy state investor 1MDB.
1MDB has denied any of its monies have been siphoned off, although it has now said its 2013 and 2014 accounts cannot be relied upon after its last auditor Deloitte quit.
“Today we announce in no uncertain terms that Red Granite remains open for business, and that everyone involved with Red Granite can confidently continue to do business with us in the wake of the civil lawsuit filed by the government last month,” according to a Red Granite Pictures statement.
On July 20, the DoJ had filed suits to recover assets said to have been stolen from 1MDB through a web of transactions involving several individuals and financial institutions.
Among the assets are all future income from The Wolf of Wall Street due to Red Granite Pictures. The film has grossed USD400 million, though it is unclear how much of that went to Red Granite.
Late Monday, according to a Variety report, US prosecutors filed a stipulation with Red Granite that sets up a procedure to segregate proceeds from two Red Granite films: The Wolf of Wall Street and Friends With Kids, a 2011 film starring Megan Fox.
The second film was not previously part of the US government’s case. As part of the stipulation, the government withdrew a proposed restraining order against the rights to The Wolf of Wall Street.
Instead, the stipulation maintained existing collection account management agreements, thereby allowing proceeds from the films to continue to flow to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, director Martin Scorsese, Fox, the actors’ and directors’ guilds, and to Red Granite’s lenders.
“Any portion of the proceeds from the two films that are due to Red Granite will be held in segregated accounts pending a ruling on the government’s asset forfeiture request. Prosecutors are ultimately seeking to return funds to the Malaysian people”, said the report.
Red Granite’s latest film, a remake of the 1973 prison-break film “Papillon,” is about to start production, according to a person involved with the film, Variety reported.