Leonardo DiCaprio says he's awaiting direction from the U.S. Justice Department regarding any ill-gotten funds that may have supported his environmental foundation or 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street."
The Oscar-winning actor released a statement through his representatives Tuesday saying he will return any gifts or donations connected to a Malaysian wealth fund, pending a fraud investigation of that fund by the U.S. and other countries. Court filings in connection with the investigations allege a complex money laundering scheme intended to enrich top-level officials of the Malaysian government-controlled wealth fund.
"Both Mr. DiCaprio and (the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation) continue to be entirely supportive of all efforts to assure that justice is done in this matter," the statement said. "Mr. DiCaprio is grateful for the lead and instruction of the government on how to accomplish this."
The Justice Department says that at least $3.5 billion has been stolen from the wealth fund, known as 1MDB, by people close to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Najib created the fund in 2009 shortly after he took office to promote economic development projects in the Asian nation, but the fund accumulated billions in debts over the years.
The Justice Department has initiated action to seize $1.3 billion it says was taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S., including luxury properties in New York and California, a $35 million jet, art by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, and financing of "The Wolf of Wall Street," according to federal government complaints filed in Los Angeles in July.