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  • It's a scandal that originated in Malaysia, but the investigation has spread to at least

  • 10 other countries around the world.

  • It allegedly involves celebrities,

  • Las Vegas gambling,

  • lots of diamond jewelry,

  • rare artwork,

  • and even The Wolf of Wall Street movie.

  • I'm talking about 1MDBMalaysia's sovereign wealth fund,

  • the center of one of the world's biggest cases of white collar crime.

  • In September 2009, Malaysia's new Prime Minister Najib Razak, set up 1MDB.

  • The fund's purpose was to borrow money to grow investment

  • and stimulate Malaysia's economy.

  • Unlike most sovereign wealth funds, Malaysia didn't start with a huge pile of cash.

  • It had to raise money through things like bond sales and joint ventures

  • and it was through three of these business deals that the scandal unfolded.

  • Unfortunately, sadly, tragically, a number of corrupt 1MDB officials treated this

  • public trust as a personal bank account.

  • Investigators say at least $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB

  • when money landed in various Swiss and Singaporean bank accounts

  • tied back to a few central characters.

  • I know, I know. It's complicated.

  • So complex that one Malaysian non-profit designed this board game

  • to help people come to grips with how the money was spent.

  • Many of the assets you see here, are actual assets listed in that report.

  • They even made figurines of the key characters named in the Department of Justice report.

  • So, who are they?

  • Malaysian Official One is mentioned more than 30 times in the Department of Justice report,

  • but never referred to by name.

  • The official is widely believed to be Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak,

  • but Mr Najib has denied any wrongdoing.

  • The 1MDB case began to make international headlines in July 2015

  • after the Wall Street Journal reported it had seen a paper trail

  • tracing $680 million from 1MDB into Mr Najib's personal bank accounts.

  • Malaysia's attorney general cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing, saying the $680 million was

  • a legal donation from Saudi Arabia and most of it was returned.

  • But the Department of Justice says nearly $30 million in 1MDB funds was used to buy

  • jewelry for Malaysian Official One's wife, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond

  • set in a necklace, which cost $27.3 million alone.

  • In the face of intense criticism, Mr Najib removed his critics,

  • including his deputy prime minister.

  • He also replaced the attorney general, who had been investigating 1MDB.

  • Another key player in the 1MDB saga is Jho Low,

  • who is named in the Department of Justice report.

  • His whereabouts are currently unknown.

  • Low, whose real name is Low Taek Jho, has no formal position within 1MDB.

  • I found politics to be very interesting.

  • But he's known to be a longtime friend of the

  • Malaysian prime minister's stepson, Riza Aziz.

  • U.S. investigations have pinpointed

  • Mr Low as having a significant role

  • in the fund's creation and brokering

  • 1MDB's major business deals,

  • which may be why he's alleged

  • to have gotten a lion's share of 1MDB funds.

  • He made headlines in the U.S. for his big spending,

  • and was frequently photographed with celebrities like Paris Hilton.

  • It appears that Mr Low went on a major shopping spree between 2009 and 2014.

  • More than $250 million in proceeds from the first 1MDB bond offering were used to purchase

  • a 300-foot luxury mega yacht called The Equanimity.

  • Mr Low bought lots of real estate in New York City and Beverly Hills, including a penthouse

  • which was once home to Jay Z and Beyonce for $30.6 million.

  • Then, there were the casinos.

  • The Department of Justice says more than $25 million

  • was wired to Caesar's Palace and the Venetian in Las Vegas,

  • where several individuals gambled on his account.

  • He also purchased about $200 million worth of jewelry

  • using funds traced to 1MDB and a Deutsche Bank loan.

  • About $8 million of that jewelry went to Australian model Miranda Kerr.

  • He also spent more than $100 million on art,

  • including a $3.2 million piece by Pablo Picasso,

  • which he gave actor Leonardo DiCaprio for his birthday.

  • Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Miranda Kerr have returned their gifts to the Department of Justice.

  • Riza Aziz, stepson of the Malaysian Prime Minister, had more than $200 million funneled

  • to his personal bank account, according to prosecutors.

  • With that money, Mr Aziz purchased things like

  • an original Wizard of Oz movie poster from 1939, for a cool $75,000,

  • and nearly $100 million worth of real estate in the U.K. and U.S.

  • But a significant portion of the money was sent to Red Granite Pictures,

  • a Hollywood company run by Mr Aziz.

  • Red Granite financed films like Dumb and Dumber To,

  • Daddy's Home and of course,

  • the Oscar-nominated Wolf of Wall Street.

  • Aziz and Low even got a shoutout in Leonardo DiCaprio's Golden Globe speech in 2014.

  • Joey, Riz and Jho, thank you for being not only collaborators but

  • taking a risk on this movie.

  • Red Granite recently came to an undisclosed settlement with the U.S. government.

  • The Department of Justice is trying to seize all of these assets and more,

  • worth $540 million in total.

  • This is because it says misappropriated funds were used to purchase them.

  • In response to U.S actions, the Malaysian government said that

  • the Department of Justice never sought its cooperation.

  • In October, Malaysia's Attorney General asked Malaysian police

  • to re-open the investigation into 1MDB.

  • Malaysia's general elections will likely be held this year,

  • and it's clear that the 1MDB debacle is the elephant in the room.

  • Hi everyone. Thanks for watching.

  • If you want to check out more CNBC Explains, click here, and here.

  • Don't forget to subscribe!

It's a scandal that originated in Malaysia, but the investigation has spread to at least

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1MDBの資金はどうなった?| CNBCが解説します (What happened to 1MDB's money? | CNBC Explains)

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    PENG に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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