An international money-laundering scandal has rocked Hollywood to its core — as federal investigators zero in on a number of A-listers linked to a shady Southeast Asian investor, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Academy Award winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Forest Whitaker are just some of the superstars who may have received ill-gotten cash and gifts from crooked movie producer Riza Aziz, sources told Radar.
Aziz and his stepfather, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, along with a slimy associate, Jho Low, are accused of siphoning billions of dollars from Malaysian taxpayers to finance Aziz’s lavish Hollywood lifestyle and his company, Red Granite Pictures.
Red Granite produced the 2013 drama The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Scorsese and starring Leonardo, Jonah Hill and Aussie sexpot Margot Robbie.
That’s put all four in the hot seat — but they’re just a few of the many stars being looked at by the feds in a bid to recoup stolen funds that rightfully belong to the people of Malaysia, sources said.
The Hollywood hit list also includes comedic actors Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell, rapper-turned-action hero Mark Wahlberg of the Transformers movies, and Mad Men hunk Jon Hamm.
Even actor Orlando Bloom’s ex-wife, sexy model Miranda Kerr, is caught up in the scandal. Kerr, who’s now married to Evan Spiegel, the billionaire founder of social media site Snapchat, allegedly received a $1.3 million 11.72-carat heart-shaped diamond as a gift from one of the sticky-fingered dirtbags.
The federal government’s forfeiture squad will turn over every rock in its effort to retrieve the stolen loot — and celebs aware of the corrupt scheme could find themselves in serious legal trouble, said renowned legal expert Peter Gleason.
“If they are in possession of ill-gotten gains, the feds are going to come in, seize the property, and hold on to it until they determine who is the rightful owner,” Gleason told Radar.
“If any of these celebrities knew the money or gifts came from embezzled funds, they could get in trouble,” continued the expert. “These people usually insulate themselves with layers of handlers, but if smoking-gun emails exist, any of these celebrities could be in hot water!”
According to sources, a whopping $3.5 billion has been siphoned from a special fund set up by the Malaysian prime minister in 2009.
The U.S. Justice Department has filed several civil lawsuits in its campaign to recover money from the fund, which was intended “to pursue investment and development projects for the economic benefit of Malaysia and its people,” according to one of the lawsuits.
The feds were quick to home in on DiCaprio, who they claimed received the lion’s share of the pillaged funds.
His haul included a $3.2 million painting by Pablo Picasso that was a belated birthday gift, a Jean-Michel Basquiat collage worth $9.2 million, and Marlon Brando’s best actor Oscar for his 1954 On the Waterfront performance.
The actor has reportedly turned the Oscar and the artwork over to the government.
The feds are also trying to seize the rights to The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as other Red Granite–produced films, including Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy’s Home.
Other celebs caught up in the probe after appearing in Red Granite–produced films include Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, former Saturday Night Live cutups Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, and Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana.
The probe earned praise from Dr. Kim K. Tee, founder and former president of the Malaysian Club of Chicago, who thanked the Trump administration for going after the corrupt government, and the celebrities who reaped the benefits of the stolen money.
“Those celebrities are just as guilty as Prime Minister Najib because they are all in the same group of criminals,” he said. “I think the feds need to go there, arrest them, and put them on trial!”
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