Properties, jet, litany of assets listed in US Justice Dept lawsuits
The United States Department of Justice seeks to seize a total 17 assets including luxury properties and a jet, stated the lawsuits naming the maker of blockbuster film 'The Wolf of Wall Street' states.
The court documents filed in Los Angeles related how the properties were allegedly purchased in the US, Switzerland and the United Kingdom from funds diverted from 1MDB.
The court documents said the funds were diverted from 1MDB "for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators (and) their associates".
They used the funds to purchase luxury estates in the United States, pay gambling expenses at Las Vegas casinos, acquire more than US$200 million in artwork, invest in a major New York real-estate development project, and fund the production of major Hollywood films.
1MDB maintained no interests in their assets and saw no returns on these investments, the lawsuits stated.
It named Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's step-son, Riza Aziz, businessman Low Taek Jho and two former Abu Dhabi officials as among the prime players in the "embezzlement" of funds.
The court documents also named “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” as a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who held a position of authority with 1MDB as well.
“During all times relevant to the complaint, MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 was a 'public official' as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(7)(B)(iv) and a 'public servant' as that term is used in Section 21 of the Malaysian Penal Code,” the court documents stated.
Najib, who is also finance minister, was chairperson of the 1MDB board of advisors, which has since been dissolved. 1MDB is fully-owned by the Ministry of Finance.
Seventeen assets sought
The documents stated that this is a forfeiture action on assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB.
The 17 properties that it sought to seize stated in the 136-page document filed on Wednesday include:
- The L’emritage property including the L'Ermitage Hotel at 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, California 90210;
- The L’ermitage business assets that includes all chattels and intangible assets, inventory and equipment maintained by LBH Real Estate;
- Hillcrest property 1: a real property located in Beverly Hills, California;
- The Park Laurel condominium located in New York that is owned by Park Laurel Acquisition LLC
- A Bombardier Global 5000 jet with the manufactured serial number 9625 and registration number N689WM, with two Rolls Royce engine;
- Time Warner Penthouse located in New York owned by 80 Columbus Circle (NYC) LLC;
- The Oriole mansion located in Los Angeles, California;
- The Greene condominium located in New York owned by 118 Greene Street (NYC) LLC;
- EMI Assets of any rights including copyright and intellectual property rights, as well as the right to collect and receive any profits owned by JW Nile (BVI) Ltd;
- Symphony CP (Park Lane) LLC assets which is a Delaware limited liability company owned directly or indirectly by Symphony CP Investments LLC and Symphony CP Investments Holdings LLC, based in New York, which owns what is known as the Park Lane Hotel;
- The Walker Tower Penthouse which is located in New York, and owned by 212 West 18th Street LLC;
- The Laurel Beverly Hills mansion, located in Beverly Hills, California, and owned by Laurel Beverly Hills Holdings;
- Hillcrest Property 2: which like Hillcrest Property 1 is located in Beverly Hills, California;
- A Vincent Van Gogh Artwork titled 'La maison de Vincent a Arlest';
- A Claude Monet painting titled 'Saint-Georges Majeur';
- Another Claude Monet painting titled 'Nympheas avec Reflets de Hautes Herbes'; and
- The Qentas townhouse located in London, UK.
Editor's note: If you are viewing this on the Malaysiakini app, please click here to read the 136-page court document filed by the US Department of Justice.