Feds Seek Rights to ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Be Given to DiCaprio

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Rights to the comedic Hollywood movies Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy’s Home are being investigated by federal prosecutors in an effort launched to recover more than $4.5 billion in assets stolen from a sovereign wealth fund in Malaysia. A Pablo Picasso painting bought for $3.2 million, among other pieces of artwork, were meant to be given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. These items are on the recovery list, where the estimated final value of all of the U.S. assets linked to the scam resulted to be $1.7 billion, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The new penalization targets are among an already existing inventory that includes future profits from The Wolf of Wall Street, starring DiCaprio, as well as some Old Masters artwork and luxury real estate in New York and California. The effort is said to be the largest action ever pursued under the U.S. Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, prosecutors said. The stolen funds were taken from a reserve meant to help Malaysia by supporting economic development projects called 1MDB.

According to prosecutors, a group of Malaysian officials and other accomplices allegedly siphoned away billions of dollars through diverting bond funds, defrauding foreign banks, and more between the years of 2009 and 2015. Following their actions, the conspirators laundered the money through personal investments, including luxury condos in New York City and a Beverly Hills hotel, luxury purchases, such as the 300-foot Cayman Islands-registered yacht Equanimity, and more.

Sandra Brown, acting Los Angeles-based U.S. Attorney, said, “These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed.” The plot was shown to divert funds from 1MDB and became entangled with the proceedings of well-known U.S. films. The actions were highlighted in a 251-page federal court complaint that was filed in Los Angeles. Among the conspirators are Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian national, and Riza Shahriz Bin Abdul Aziz, another Malaysian national and the co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, a Hollywood movie production studio. The rights to Dumb and Dumber To starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, Daddy’s Home starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and future profits from The Wolf of Wall Street were all owned by Red Granite.

“As we have previously disclosed, Red Granite is actively engaged in discussions with the Justice Department aimed at resolving these civil cases and is fully cooperating,” the company said in a statement Thursday. The alleged dishonestly obtained gifts given to DiCaprio include a Picasso painting titled “Nature Morte au Crane de Taureau,” a Diana Arbus photograph purchased for $750,000, and a collage by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat purchased for $9,191,040. The Arbus and Basquiat gifts were given by Low. Eric Tan, a Low associate, gave the Picasso painting to DiCaprio, along with a handwritten note saying, “Happy belated Birthday!” the court complaint said.

On DiCaprio’s behalf, the actor’s representatives got in touch with the Department of Justice in July of 2016 to decide whether the gifts or donations were given by people named in a previous 1MDB forfeiture action. With government assistance, DiCaprio offered to return any gifts or donations. Representatives of the actor said that before Thursday’s court filing, DiCaprio “initiated (the) 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. In addition, DiCaprio returned a Hollywood Oscar award originally won by Marlon Brando that was given to the actor as a gift for his work on The Wolf of Wall Street, the statement mentioned.

A coffee depended life-form who enjoys thriller novels, creative writing, and wearing heels to feel taller. Shy to acquaintances, presumably obnoxious to friends. Watched the Harry Potter saga more times than I should admit, but then I remember: who cares? Thoroughly enjoy getting dressed up, but love my fuzzy sweatpants. I like to think my life is interesting.

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