US court okays financial overseer for 1MDB-mired Red Granite Pictures

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KUALA LUMPUR: A US federal judge has agreed to the appointment of an independent financial overseer at Red Granite Pictures which has been dragged into the 1MDB scandal.

The overseer will examine the company’s books as Red Granite works with the US Attorney’s office to resolve allegations that it used funds embezzled from 1MDB to produce at least three films: “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Daddy’s Home,” and “Dumb and Dumber To.”

Variety reported that the US was seeking to seize Red Granite’s portion of the proceeds from those films as part of a much broader effort to recoup funds allegedly stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

According to the report, US prosecutors and Red Granite agreed to the appointment of an “independent operational fiduciary,” who will be able to examine the company’s books and oversee transactions for a period of at least 30 days.

Among the official’s responsibilities will be “maximizing Red Granite’s value as a going concern” as well as to “preserve and protect Red Granite’s assets pending a settlement among the Parties or further order of the court”.

The overseer, to be paid by Red Granite, is expected to be appointed within the next week.

Variety reported that the US government had claimed that US$4.5 billion in total had been stolen from 1MDB and used to buy luxury real estate, fine art and a yacht.

Red Granite, whose CEO Riza Aziz is the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has maintained that it did not knowingly take stolen funds, according to the Variety report.