Equanimity, the 91.5m Oceanco-built motoryacht, has become embroiled in an ongoing dispute in which the United States of America is attempting to recoup some $4.5 billion supposedly pilfered by Malaysian public officials from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhard (1MDB).
This is not the first such action to be filed by the US against the defendants; in 2016, this case was described by the US attorney general as “the largest kleptocracy case” in US history. This latest action sees the US attempting to seize an additional $540 million of assets from the accused, including Equinimity.
The case filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on 15 June 2017 describe the nature of the action as “a civil action in rem to forfeit assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated for 1Malaysia Development Berhard.”
1MDB was created for the purpose of investing in and developing economic projects that would benefit Malaysia and its people, primarily relying on the issuance of various debt securities to fund these projects. The DoJ claims that, over a period of roughly five years (2009 to at least 2014), a number of public officials, notably the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, and his adviser Jho Low, diverted billions of dollars for personal gain. Both Razak and Low have vehemently denied all allegations.
Assets included in this most recent $540 million seizure action include Equanimity, the rights to the film Dumb and Dumber to, a Picasso painting, myriad jewels, the rights, profits and royalties from The Wolf of Wall Street motion picture, as well as a number of properties in various countries and various other high value assets.