Federal prosecutors are seeking the rights to Hollywood movies Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy’s Home in the latest expansion of a forfeiture effort launched to recover more than $4.5 billion in assets allegedly stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Artwork given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, including a Pablo Picasso painting bought for $3.2 million, are also on the recovery list prosecutors disclosed Thursday as the estimated total value of assets in the U.S. allegedly linked to the scam rose to $1.7 billion.
The new forfeiture targets join a targeted inventory that already includes future profits from The Wolf of Wall Street, the 2013 blockbuster movie that starred DiCaprio, plus Old Masters artwork and luxury real estate in New York and California.
In all, the federal effort ranks as the largest action ever pursued under the U.S. Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, prosecutors said.
The money used to buy the assets allegedly was stolen from 1MDB, a fund intended to help Malaysia by issuing bonds that would fund economic development projects. But federal prosecutors allege that a group of Malaysian officials and other conspirators from 2009 through 2015 siphoned away billions of dollars by diverting bond funds, defrauding foreign banks and other schemes.
The conspirators then laundered the proceeds through personal investments, including luxury condos in New York City and a Beverly Hills hotel, luxury purchases, such as the purchase of the 300-foot Cayman Islands-registered yacht Equanimity, and other transactions.
“These cases involve billions of dollars…