Feds ready to seize $1B in assets linked to Malaysian fund

The funds reportedly helped buy real estate in New York and Los Angeles

Jul.July 20, 2016 10:43 AM

Federal authorities are getting ready to seize more than $1 billion worth of assets purchased with money from a scandal-plagued Malaysian government investment fund.

The seizure would be the largest in U.S. history and the government’s first formal action in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, a sovereign-wealth fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Wall Street Journal reported. Federal prosecutors are expected to file civil lawsuits on Wednesday seeking to seize the assets, which have not yet been identified and were allegedly bought with dirty money.

Officials believe that the prime minister’s stepson, Riza Aziz, used the fund to buy at least $50 million worth of luxury real estate in New York City and Los Angeles. Aziz, a producer on the film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” allegedly diverted $33.5 million from the fund to buy a luxury duplex at 15 West 63rd Street and another $17.5 million for a mansion in Beverly Hills.  He also allegedly used the fund to help pay for the film.

Singapore and Switzerland have already brought action related to 1MDB this year. Actions by U.S. regulators are expected to potentially threaten the country’s relationship with Malaysia, the newspaper reported. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel

Related Articles

(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

(Credit: iStock)

Stimulus deal buoys real estate stocks, but coronavirus maintains its grip

The Plaza Hotel, Sofitel New York at 45 West 44th Street and Le Bernardin at 155 West 51st Street (Credit: Yarl via Wikipedia Commons, Sofitel and Le Bernadin)

Mass layoffs claim jobs at the Plaza, Sofitel and Le Bernardin

Knotel CEO Amol Sarva 

Another huge round of layoffs for Knotel

The coronavirus could spark the conversion of New York’s office buildings into residential buildings

Could NY’s work from home moment fuel office-to-residential conversions?

Representative Kevin McCarthy and US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi show the $2 trillion stimulus bill (Credit: ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

House passes $2 trillion stimulus package