Miranda Kerr turns over $8.1M to feds in Malaysian fund ‘gifts’

The Malaysian sovereign wealth fund scandal has claimed another celebrity figure.

Miranda Kerr surrendered more than $8.1 million worth of jewelry to the Justice Department a week after civil lawsuits said it was purchased for her by Malaysian financier Jho Low with allegedly stole the funds.

Low has been tied to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who also had to fork over artwork, after also being sued by the Justice Department.

Justice seized a Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings given to Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as rights to two Hollywood film comedies, in complaint filings to claw back $540 million they say was “stolen” from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

Kerr dated Mr. Low for about a year in 2014 as the Malaysian money man was blowing through some $400 million by buying gifts for the somewhat rich and famous to launder the money stolen from 1MDB, according to the feds.

The Justice Department says that during that time he gave her four gifts of jewelry. Ms. Kerr was married last month to Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel.

Low also had connections with a former Goldman Sachs Far East director Tim Leissner, who helped the government set up the sovereign wealth fund and profited from its many bond offerings to allegedly funds airports, roads  and other infrastructure projects.

Leissner also had a Hollywood connection with his second wife Kimora Lee Leissner, the ex-wife of Russell Simmons, the cofounder of Def Jam Records. Leissner resigned from Goldman in 2016 has been barred from the securities industry in Malaysia for 10 years.

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Leonardo DiCaprio tied to “Wolf of Malaysia,” DOJ

You can file this under the heading of life imitating art

On Thursday the Justice Department seized a Picasso and Basquiat paintings given to Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as rights to two Hollywood film comedies, in complaint filings to claw back $540 million they say was “stolen” from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

The high-end art work was given to DiCaprio by Jho Low — a Malaysian financier — who the feds charged with laundering more than $400 million stolen from 1MDB through an US  account.

Low used the ill-gotten gains to fund a film production studio called Red Granite to live the life depicted in DiCaprio’s “Wolf of Wall Street” where he and his friends used the money to pay for lavish parties, gambling and yachts.

The DOJ’s filing also sought to claw back the assets of two other Red Granite films, which the federal investigators say were financed by money from the 1MDB fund.

“Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey in the 2014 comedy, and 2015 comedy “Daddy’s Home” starring Will Ferrell.

Last year, the DOJ also tried to seize the rights to “The Wolf of Wall Street” although the Red Granite Pictures said on Thursday it was “actively engaged in discussions with the Justice Department aimed at resolving these civil cases and is fully cooperating.”

“Mr. DiCaprio initiated return of these items, which were received and accepted by him for the purpose of being included in an annual charity auction to benefit his eponymous foundation,” the actor’s people said in statement on Thursday. “He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr. DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,'” the statement added.

Low also had connections with a former Goldman Sachs Far East director Tim Leissner, who helped the government set up the sovereign wealth fund and profited from its many bond offerings to allegedly funds airports, roads  and other infrastructure projects.

Leissner also had a Hollywood connection with his second wife Kimora Lee Leissner, the ex-wife of Russell Simmons, the cofounder of Def Jam Records. Leissner resigned from Goldman in 2016 has been barred from the securities industry in Malaysia for 10 years.

Russell Simmons preying on the poor is criminal

A Russell Simmons-created prepaid debit card called RushCard has millions of poor Americans — who can least afford it — suffering further because its system has been down — FOR 9 DAYS.

The debit card for the millions of unbanked Americans blames it on a conversion to another fulfilment company.

A quick  glance at social media shows the suffering as people are losing jobs because they don’t have the money to commute, missing rent payments because their money is not available, and going without food.

It is an outrage that I came across this a week. The reason it took so long to hear about it is because no banking regulator has stepped in to help those who need it most.

The RushCard clients are on the brink of poverty in the best of times. Children’s dinner menu yoyo from rice to hamburger depending on the day of the week and when payday will arrive.

So now you tell these people the work check you have automatically deposited with us is not available and last week’s is not as well, now you have a problem.

Most of these people are struggling, but are too proud to be on the government’s dole. They work three or four part-time jobs within the household to keep everyone warm and fed.

No one should have to struggle further and not have access to their money so a company can make a better profit.

Simmons — who told customers early on that the problem should be rectified in hours — should be held accountable for his company’s inability to fix the problem swiftly. I’m sure the change in providers was to save a penny or so on each transaction, and now millions of kids are going hungry.

There can’t be a worse feeling in the world for a parent than to say “Nothing,” when a child asks “What’s for dinner?”

Someone should hold Simmons accountable for this mess. Unfortunately his customers don’t rate the type of attention that the Washing DC pols need to court.

I thought Sen Elizabeth Warren said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  would have their back, but all I hear is crickets.

This should not happen in America in 2015, but it does.


 

The equities and bond markets have no clues as to directionality this week.

As market moving news is drying up and the China “growth” story becomes old news, everything is trading in a tight range putting markets in a holding pattern.

A Ferrari IPO with the latest models outside on Broad Street is the best the NYSE can provide as news.

And let’s celebrate today the date Marty McFly went “Back to the Future.”