Blood orange banner with text "Hollywood. The business of art? Nah. The business of fraud / corruption / deceit."

Hollywood?! Corruption?!? Fraud??? Never! Slander! Lies!

malaysia’s art business… oops… i mean fraud business… isn’t going so well…

More than $3.5 billion traveled a trail of fraud from Malaysia through a web of shell companies, with some fueling a spending binge on Monet paintings and luxury real estate and at least $700 million flowing back into accounts controlled by Malaysia’s prime minister.

The diverted cash was used to purchase a breathtaking catalog of loot that prosecutors moved on Wednesday to seize. There’s a stake in the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel as well as homes, condos and penthouses from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills to Manhattan’s Central Park South to London’s Belgravia. There’s a $35 million Bombardier jet, as well as more than $200 million worth of art — a pen-and-ink drawing by Vincent Van Gogh (“La Maison de Vincent a Arles”) and two Claude Monet paintings, including a pastel study of water lilies, “Nympheas Avec Reflets de Hautes Herbes.”

Oh my…

So I guess ‘fine art’ is just a piss pot for fraudsters these days? If the artwork itself isn’t fraudulent, then the money was obtained by fraud… is that how it works? The ‘fine art’ market is nothing more than an expression of the worst aspects of humanity? Nobody questioned where these pieces of artistic history were going? Nobody cared? It was only about whether or not they paid you the money?

That’s just so fucking neato. I love when people behave like little greedy monsters.

Anyways, the artistic bent of the story continues…

And in a twist worthy of Hollywood, the U.S. is also laying claim to profits and royalties from a movie about wealthy abandon: It says that more than $100 million in funds from 1MDB went to finance 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” by Red Granite Pictures Inc. — a production company co-founded by Najib’s stepson, Riza.

Low and Riza were also at the center of a gambling spree in Las Vegas in July 2012, using money that had come through 1MDB, according to prosecutors. A few weeks after Riza wired $41 million from a Red Granite account to one controlled by an associate, Eric Tan, the two of them went to Vegas, where over several days they wired $13 million into an account maintained by Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent of the Venetian Casino.
Sands, which hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, declined to comment.
The two of them — joined by Low and a producer of the “Wolf of Wall Street” — gambled at the Venetian for three days. They were joined on July 15 by what the complaint identifies as a lead actor in the film, who it noted ultimately won a Golden Globe award for his performance.
That actor is DiCaprio…


I guess Riza and Eric Tan had Hollywood culture running through their veins before they even finished financing the movie…

What’s odd to me, is that it seems nobody at all wondered if it was appropriate that these people were gambling with $13 million? Nobody went ‘hey can we get a little more information?’

As for the Americans involved…

I feel that we should not dismiss American’s behavior just because they will inevitably claim ‘i didnt knowww 🙁‘ and point the finger at Malaysia and company with ‘their behavior is the worser!‘ claims.

However, knowing the American Judiciary’s deference to government and Hollywood folks… I feel like all law breaking will be swept under the rug regardless of how I or anybody else feels. My bet is it’s just going to be another case of ‘rules for thee, but not for me‘… where people commit crimes that an average person would be sent to prison for, but because the government likes these people nobody will ever pay for those crimes.


So… To Sum Up…

A lot of questions remain unanswered and the fact that this fraudulently obtained money continually spilled over into the business of art is obviously concerning to me…

I honestly think we have another example of Hollywood and the ‘fine art’ world behaving badly to add to the books. And I want you to remember, these are the same people who look down upon society as art deprived heathens and this is just one little taste of their behavior.

And you know what, I don’t think anybody will change their behavior and the only thing that will ever come of this is that somebody will probably argue with me… which of course won’t ensure the safety of the artistic works they acquired with fraudulently obtained money or ever help clean up the acts of people who are actually behaving poorly.


Update – 7/20/2016 11PM

11 pieces of real estate the U.S. government is trying to seize as part of an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of $3.5 billion from a Malaysian state fund, according to a court filing Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department.
The U.S. links most of the real estate to Riza Aziz, a stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister, and Jho Low, a friend and financier known for partying with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. Riza produced “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a movie about decadence and greed starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Among the other properties is a $33.5 million condo at the Park Laurel near Lincoln Center allegedly bought by a shell company controlled by Aziz. It has a 1,244-square-foot (116-square-meter) terrace wrapping around a corner, according to a listing that mentions soundproofing and heated marble floors. Low is said to have spent $39 million on another mansion in Beverly Hills that once belonged to “Fantasy Island” actor Ricardo Montalban


The hunt for assets is on and who could’ve guessed the government would find them in Hollywood and New York (that’s a joke, because you know… that’s exactly where you’d expect to find them).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.