It’s one of the biggest financial fraud cases of all time. Now the U.S. government has begun returning to Malaysia around $200 million that it recovered from asset seizures linked to state fund 1MDB. Malaysian and U.S. authorities believe about $4.5 billion was siphoned from the state fund founded in 2009. The former prime minister who established the fund, Najib Razak, has been charged with more than 40 criminal offenses linked to losses at 1MDB and other state entities. Since 2016, the Justice Department has filed civil lawsuits seeking to seize about $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds. They include a private jet, luxury real estate, artwork, and jewelry. The DoJ is also in the process of remitting an additional $139 million pending the sale of a Manhattan property linked to playboy fugitive Jho Low. The financier allegedly funded his lifestyle by diverting as much as $3.5 billion away from the fund.
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