Leonardo DiCaprio has always been seen as an actor who likes to give back, but is his charity all a big scam?
According to reports in the US, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is under fire after allegedly being linked to a $3 billion scam involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
The link was supposedly uncovered during a US federal probe into money laundering according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The publication went to great lengths to document how lavish and excessive the 41-year-old’s star-studded fundraising events are, and called into question both the origins of the cash bankrolling the parties and how much of the funds raised were actually going to charity.
Experts have had their say on the controversy, saying that the way Leo’s foundation is structured has raised questions about its accountability and transparency.
“Everything might be perfectly fine, but we don’t know,” Aaron Dorfman from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy revealed to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation raised more than $45 million at a celebrity–filled gala in St Tropez in July.
Here's everything you need to know about the alleged scam in the clip below. Post continues.
The US Justice Department allege that money embezzled from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad owned by the actor’s friend Jho Low somehow made its way into his foundation’s money pool, and funded a Las Vegas gambling trip in which Leonardo reportedly took part.
The Malaysian company are currently in the middle of a huge embezzlement court case.
Terry Tamminen, CEO of the foundation, released a statement that didn’t directly address the allegations, saying the company is “an incredibly efficient, highly effective philanthropic organization that, through its relationship with the California Community Foundation, is supporting credible organizations that are carrying out some of the most important work on the planet”.
There will reportedly be a formal enquiry into the foundations coffers, which will examine the price tag of the charity’s elaborate events, and uncover how much of that actually goes to charitable organisations.
The actor has always been seen as philanthropic, but is it all an act? Check out the time he met the Pope in the video below. Post continues.