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Leonardo DiCaprio Had To Give Up His Oscar (Well, AN Oscar) Amid Federal Embezzlement Investigation!

| Filed under: Film FlickersLegal MattersLeonardo DiCaprioOscars

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And the Oscar goes to… the federal government!!

Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Academy Award to authorities investigating alleged money laundering and corruption involving Red Granite Pictures. Thankfully it wasn't HIS Oscar that he won for The Revenant — they would have had to fight him momma grizzly-style for that one!

On Thursday, feds filed a new complaint claiming that backing for Red Granite films came from stolen Malaysian funds, and that Leo had been gifted artwork purchased with the embezzled money.

Officials are aiming to seize rights to the Red Granite-produced films Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy's Home, asserting that tens of millions of dollars used to make these movies trace back to foreign corruption!

Related: Leo Has Strong Words For Donald Trump!

This complaint can be traced back to similar litigation filed last year, which claimed the film The Wolf of Wall Street (ironic, no?) was funded with assets from a fund called 1Malaysia Development Berdhard (1MBD) and divided into shell companies.

Some of that money is said to have filtered into Red Granite, which is run by Riza Aziz — the stepson of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak. A portion of the $4.5 billion allegedly embezzled went to "to fund the co-conspirators' lavish lifestyles, including… purchasing artwork… jewelry… and luxury yachts."

According to the new complaint, one of these shell companies absorbed a large chunk of the 1MBD funds and made dozens of transfers totalling over $50 million into two accounts for Dumb and Dumber To – then another $30 million in "funds traceable to diverted 1MDB proceeds" went to accounts for Daddy's Home.

The feds are also eyeing other assets: artwork gifted to DiCaprio, including a $3.28 million Picasso painting and a Jean-Michel Basquiat collage purchased for $9,191,040. The actor also voluntarily surrendered an Oscar to the government — one which had once been awarded to Marlon Brando, which was gifted to him by Red Granite.

Leo also turned over the art referenced in the report, but has no plans to forfeit the money he made from performing in The Wolf of Wall Street.

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A Spokesperson for Red Granite said the production company is "actively engaged in discussions with the Justice Department aimed at resolving these civil cases and is fully cooperating." The company will still remain active amid the investigation and is currently developing new projects.

As for Leo, a spokesperson for the actor explained the situation in a lengthy statement:

"Last July, upon hearing of the government's civil action against certain parties involved in the making of The Wolf of Wall Street, Mr. DiCaprio's representatives — working under his instruction — initiated contact with the Department of Justice. This effort was to determine if there were any gifts or charitable donations originating from the parties named in the civil complaint, and to offer the return of any such gifts or donations with the aid and instruction of the government. Prior to the government's filing of the civil pleading today, 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. 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. Mr. DiCaprio is grateful for the support of the government in this effort and continues to hope that justice is done in this matter."

Don't play with the feds, Leo. You've starred in too many films to know how that ends.

[Image via Paramount Pictures.]

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