US authorities are preparing to return about USD200 million (RM828 million) of funds allegedly misappropriated from troubled state fund 1MDB to Malaysia, according to a Bloomberg report
In its report today, 3 May, the US-based site said that of the USD200 million, about USD140 million is from the sale of a stake in New York's Park Lane Hotel and USD60 million is from a settlement paid by the producer of 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.
Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named as the details are private. The transfer could happen as soon as next week.
Jho Low, who was one of the owners of the hotel, recently agreed to drop his claims on the property which sits on Billionaires' Row
In 2017, the New York Times reported one of the sellers of the hotel saying that the 47-story Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South sits on one of the best locations in the world, "a stretch of Midtown Manhattan that has become known as Billionaires' Row."
According to Bloomberg, the USD140 million stake in the Park Lane hotel was sold in February this year after Jho Low agreed to drop his claims on the property.
Meanwhile, Red Granite Pictures Inc., which was co-founded by Najib's stepson Riza Aziz, paid USD60 million as part of a settlement with the United States Department of Justice over claims that the studio financed 'The Wolf of Wall Street', starring Leonardo DiCaprio, with funds misappropriated from 1MDB.
Bloomberg also reported that Singapore authorities are preparing to return about SGD35 million (RM106.34 million) surrendered by former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and his family
The SGD35 million surrendered by the banker is in connection with the 1MDB scandal. The money will be returned to Malaysia, Bloomberg reported while citing people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing sensitive information.
The funds were clear to be repatriated by a Singaporean Court recently.
Major credit for this goes to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has reached out to countries from Switzerland to Singapore for help in tracking and recouping the USD4.5 billion believed to have been stolen from the scandal-ridden 1MDB fund
The 93-year-old veteran was recently listed among the '100 Most Influential People' of 2019 by TIME, describing him as a formidable old warhorse who dazzled during a gruelling (election) campaign by coming out of retirement to lambaste his successor Najib Razak, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from 1MDB.
In April, Malaysia pulled in USD126 million, the largest amount of money that the country has recovered related to 1MDB, from the sale of a superyacht once owned by the fugitive financier Jho Low: