Leonardo DiCaprio pushed to repay donations tied to embezzlement scheme

Leonardo DiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprio‘s environmental charity is under pressure to repay some donations tied to a Malaysian fund that also backed his film The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) is allegedly being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice after it was revealed that some of the foundation’s donors and investors are involved in a $3.5 million Malaysian embezzlement scheme whose “misappropriated” funds also bankrolled the actor’s 2013 film.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, certain millions given to the star’s charity came directly from billions of dollars siphoned from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Bruno Manser Fund, a rainforest-based charity, wrote an open letter urging the actor to pay back all donations, loans and other funds given to the LDF by Riza Aziz, stepson of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, his associates Low Taek Jho (“Jho Low”) and Tan Kim Loong, and any funds from Aziz’s film production company, Red Granite Pictures.

This comes after The Hollywood Reporter reported last month that the U.S. Department of Justice filed an official complaint suggesting Aziz and his colleagues embezzled billions in assets from 1MDB.​ The money was allegedly supposed to be used for initiatives promoting economic development in Malaysia.

The Bruno Manser Fund claims that DiCaprio received “millions of dollars in payments” for The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as in donations for the LDF from Aziz and his associates.

“We are deeply disturbed that Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation accepted assets that originate from the proceeds of corruption in Malaysia. This is a disgrace and in total contradiction with the declared aims of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,” said Lukas Straumann, Director of the Bruno Manser Fund. “We call on DiCaprio to apologize and pay back all this dirty money to the Malaysian people.”

The Oscar winner has yet to comment on the controversy. ~Shelby Morton

What do you think — should Leo pay it back, or is it too little, too late? Sound off below!

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Gwen Collins • September 2, 2016 @ 1:58 PM

    I doubt if he even knew that the money was tainted. He probably did all the initial checks and balances one does when one receives such money, so why should he now be demonized over this?

  2. FrenchFries • September 2, 2016 @ 4:07 PM

    I mean it’s not really his fault, he can’t keep track of all his donors’ expenses. But if he’s that concerned about raising money for the environment, he should probably stop throwing extravagant parties on yachts.

  3. muad dib • September 2, 2016 @ 9:15 PM

    Hardly shocking …just entertain us ,,tired of hollywood thinking they are more then that

  4. Kurt Schwitters • September 2, 2016 @ 10:13 PM

    He accepted crazy gifts…like Brando’s $600,000 Oscar…from these guys, and now that he knows they’re crooks should simply appoint an outside accounting firm to determine the source of the money and at least set it aside. His donor directed charity looks to me like a big excuse to throw tax deductible parties.

  5. Cheena graham • September 3, 2016 @ 1:18 AM

    I would wonder how much of this is legitimate, or just another way for TPTB to squeeze anyone working so hard for the environment! Not saying this isn’t true, but the possibility is certainly there!
    I mean, look at all the false reports the oil corps pay scientists to write – all to help them destroy the environment – just for their #GREED! Maybe I’m just being cynical, but I surely wouldn’t put it past them!!

  6. Bert • September 3, 2016 @ 5:06 AM

    Yachts, private jets, what the Climate Change spokesperson for UN involved in something corrupt. The man who said he saw global warming first hand while filming a movie in Western Canada, actually witnessed a weather phenom called a Chinook(google it !) that we get 5-20 times a winter. The man who wants the rest of us to put on a sweater, turn down the heat, live and use a smaller carbon foot print, while he and his fellow jet setters fly around the world in their solar planes…sorry not invented yet, fly in their fossil fuel jets to world class resorts…couldn’t they stay home and skype one another instead. You mean that guy is around dirty money…Leo say it ain’t so…

  7. lorena • October 20, 2016 @ 7:18 PM

    Here’s another 41 year old man who hangs around with young 19-25 year old girls. It’s not only pathetic – but it’s creepy. Yuck .

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