Miranda Kerr turns over $8.1M in jewels ex bought with government funds

Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr has turned over jewelry worth $8.1 million to the U.S. Department of Justice that she received from an ex-boyfriend, Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, in 2014.

Kerr's representative, Mark Fabiani, confirmed that she transferred the jewelry from her safety-deposit box in Los Angeles to government agents on Friday. One of the pieces was an 8.8-carat pink diamond pendant, listed in a civil lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice on June 15 in Los Angeles.

“From the start of the inquiry, Miranda Kerr cooperated fully and pledged to turn over the gifts of jewelry to the government,” Fabiani said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Ms. Kerr will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can."

The Department of Justice has been assisting the Malaysian government in tracking and recovering stolen funds spent in the United States. Some $4.5 billion was pilfered in all, Britain's The Guardian reports.

According to multiple media accounts, Kerr dated Low, a financier involved in a high-profile corruption case, between her 2013 divorce from Orlando Bloom and her current marriage to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel.

Along with film producer Riza Aziz (the stepson of Prime Minister Najib Razak) and several other individuals, Low is accused of spending misappropriated Malaysian government funds on "properties, business ventures, yachts, parties, artwork, clothing, jewelry and other luxuries" in the United States.

Court documents filed in New York last year described Low as playing a "central role in both disbursing and personally receiving" the stolen money.

Their business ventures included bankrolling the 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street via Aziz's production company, Red Granite, with money funneled through Goldman Sachs. A biopic about boiler-room boss Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, cost $100 million to make and brought in $392 million globally. Last year, the Department of Justice moved to seize the rights to the Oscar-nominated film and recover royalties and proceeds from the film.

DiCaprio has already turned over a Picasso painting worth $3.2 million that he received as a birthday gift from Low as well as a Jean-Michel Basquiat collage valued at $9 million, both of which were listed in the June court filing. A spokesman for the actor also told Fortune that the actor returned another gift, an Oscar won by Marlon Brando, that he'd received from Red Granite.

Neither Kerr nor DiCaprio is accused of wrongdoing and Low has yet to be charged with a crime.

The government also seized the rights to two other films produced by the company, 2014's Dumb and Dumber To and 2015's Daddy's Home.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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