Miranda Kerr handed over $8.1 million worth of jewelry to the U.S. Justice Department on Friday. The jewelry was said to be gifts from Jho Low, a financier figuring in a corruption scandal that has engulfed the Malaysian government. Kerr and Jho Low dated for a year in 2014.
The jewelry, which were gifts to the Australian model, were retrieved from a safe deposit box in Los Angeles, reported The Guardian. Among those pieces surrendered is a $3.8 million 8.88-carat diamond pendant from New York-based designer Lorraine Schwartz.
It is alleged that Low had spent millions on jewelry for Kerr, even requesting Schwartz to engrave necklaces, bracelets, and rings with the model’s initials. An 11.72-carat heart-shaped diamond was also gifted to Miranda as a Valentine’s Day present. She also received a $1.9 million matching diamond jewelry set “as a gift during a multi-day excursion aboard his new yacht.”
Meanwhile, non-governmental organization SABM Australia says that it was “not alleging any wrongdoing by Miranda Kerr” but called for her to “hand over all jewels gifted to her.”
“From the start of the inquiry, Miranda Kerr cooperated fully and pledged to turn over the gifts of jewelry to the government. Ms. Kerr will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can,” a spokesperson told Dow Jones newswires.
The U.S. Justice Department is seeking to seize more than $4.5 billion in assets which were allegedly misappropriated funds from Malaysian state fund 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), originally created for the purpose of economic development. Jho Low, who’s real name is Low Taek Jho, is under investigation for allegedly siphoning huge sums of money from the government. 1MDB was set up by current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Both Low and Razak deny the allegations of corruption.
Kerr follows Leonardo DiCaprio, who has turned over $3.2 million worth of artwork, which includes a Picasso painting, to the government. The painting was said to be a gift from Jho Low. In addition, the rights to Hollywood films The Wolf of Wall Street and Dumb and Dumber To have also been seized. Both were produced by Red Granite, founded by Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz.
According to Mashable, the Justice Department is still seeking more than $1.7 billion in assets, including a luxury mega-yacht, which is allegedly owned by Low.
“We simply will not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefit of citizens of other nations,” Criminal Division acting assistant attorney general Kenneth Blanco said in an earlier statement.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities have not charged Jho Low, Najib Razak or Riza Aziz in the civil complaint, and DiCaprio and Kerr are not accused of any crime.
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