‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Producer Riza Aziz Pleads Not Guilty To Laundering $248 Million
Riza Aziz, the founder and CEO of Red Granite Pictures and the stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, has pleaded not guilty to laundering $248 million from a state investment fund.
Aziz, 42, entered his plea late last week and was released on bail, according to The Associated Press.
He was arrested a day earlier in Malaysia following allegations of plundering a massive investment fund set up by his step father. Aziz was charged with five counts of money laundering and faces up to five years in prison. He is the third person in his family charged in the 1MDB scandal that toppled Najib’s administration.
1MDB is the fund U.S. investigators allege misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars. Investigators also say some of the money was used to fund the Martin Scorsese hit and other films on the Red Granite slate. Following the stateside investigation, Red Granite in 2018 agreed to pay $60 million to the U.S. government to settle claims it benefited from the 1MDB scandal. The U.S. in turn is returning the money to Malaysia.