So, one day Malaysia had a “good” idea and started 1Malaysia Development Berhard, or 1MDB, an investment fund that would theoretically invest in projects around the world and then the citizens of Malaysia would get to enjoy the benefits.
This was doomed from day 1, had these guys ever heard of IMDb? Can’t start a giant investment fund with a name that similar to something else, first rule in making money is be original. But the next place they royally screwed up is when they sucked at keeping track of their money.
So, long story short some well-connected bros, errr I mean financiers, siphoned stacks from this fund to the tune of (title is a bit of a spoiler) approximately $3.5bn. If you’re a financial crimes nerd like myself you can peep the full story and its intricacies here.
Let’s meet the Three Musketeers:
From left to right we’ve got Jho Low, a financier who digs New York City and yucking it up with the likes of Paris Hilton. Next is Khadem Abdullah al-Qubaisi of the UAE, formerly the managing director of the International Petroleum Investment Company. Lastly is Riza Aziz, stepson of the Malaysian prime minister and a film producer.
Now what did they use these riches for you ask? Man, oh man, they went nuts and lived out our wildest dreams.
The Shopping List:
Just the casual stuff, a few sound investments, nothing major. Yeah f—-ing right, try a handful a multi-million dollar condos, a ~$250m investment in the Time Warner Building, a sick townhouse by Buckingham Palace and on and on. Oh, but idiots how are they going to possibly enjoy all these things? Well, they also copped an ultra long range business jet for a cool $50m, like the one below:
Can’t have a collection of dope pads without a little fengshui to pull the look together.
They made sure to pick up a Van Gogh and a Monet, amongst others, and I have a feeling you aren’t going to be able to grab any of these at your local Pottery Barn.
Wolf of Wall Street Movie:
Oh, you just thought that title gif was just extremely applicable? Nah, our guy Riza runs Red Granite Pictures, which came out nowhere to finance Wolf of Wall Street’s preposterous $100m+ budget.
And that’s just the stuff the United States Government is trying to seize (their trying to recover profits from Wolf of Street that the Red Granite earned), which tallies about $1bn after authorities in Singapore managed to seize about $177m in assets as announced on last Thursday.
This is the remainder of their supposed expenses:
- $24m+ to cover Las Vegas gambling debts
- Multi-million dollar investment in EMI Music Publishing, because we all have that friend who thinks they can be a rapper
- $3m to a jeweler in Hong Kong, assuming like 30 Jesus pieces and some gaudy pinky rings
- $2m+ to a British interior designer (again, that’s a lot of real estate they had to deck out)
- $2.7m renting yachts
And who knows what the hell else they bought and how much they still will manage to splurge on. This is yet another instance where banks (JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, etc.) and Goldman Sachs, who themselves picked up $192m for underwriting $3.5bn in bonds, were completely oblivious to financial crimes occurring with their help. But that’s a story for another day, just shocked somehow HSBC wasn’t tied up in this.
If you’re going to defraud an entire country, the least you can do is give everyone a good story and these homies succeeded and then some. The parties they must’ve thrown will be worth whatever white collar prison they get tossed into (unless they get stuck in a Malaysian prison, which I know zero facts about, but I have a feeling “Hell on Earth” doesn’t begin to quantify how terrible that must be).