A Beverly Hills mansion belonging to former prime minister Najib Razak’s stepson, Riza Aziz, has been sold for over US$7.3 million (RM30.39 million), according to court documents sighted by Malaysiakini.
This is one of the three properties owned by Riza that US prosecutors are making their move on in relation to funds stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Based on an earlier court order on Aug 21, the money from the interlocutory sale of the mansion will be held by the US Marshals Service for safekeeping in an interest-bearing account until the disposal of a civil forfeiture suit by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to recover assets bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds.
Proceeds from the sale, authorised by the California Central District Court, will first go to paying outstanding property taxes, management fees, outstanding construction loans and other fees.
The US Marshals Service will only keep what is left after other expenses related to the sale and debts to lienholders are paid.
In the suit initiated in 2017, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleged that Jho Low had wired over US$368 million (RM1.53 billion) to Riza.
Of the amount, US$16,697,190 (RM69.49 million) was supposedly spent to acquire the mansion located at North Hillcrest Road.
The DoJ had sought forfeiture of the property as part of a larger bid to recover money misappropriated from 1MDB. Riza is contesting the suit.
However, both parties agreed to an interlocutory sale of the property and several others, citing excessive costs of maintaining the property and being unable to pay the necessary taxes.
The US Marshal Service confirmed the receipt of US$7,318,134.70 (RM30.47 million) in relation to the sale on Nov 13.
The receipt was filed at the California court on Nov 25 but was only entered in its electronic records system on Dec 10.