The Australian supermodel, 34, was gifted the jewelry — including a $3.8 million, 8.88 carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond pendant — by Malaysian financier Jho Low in 2014. According to prosecutors, Low bought the jewels with money he embezzled from a state fund established by the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak.
Kerr is not the only famous name involved in the spiraling corruption scandal — and her pieces of jewelry are just a small sliver of the nearly $1.7 billion worth of assets that prosecutors are seeking to recover. Earlier this month, Leonardo DiCaprio was asked to surrender a $3.2 million Picasso painting that Low gave the actor. The Justice Department is also seeking the rights to a couple of Hollywood movies that were partly financed by the stolen money, including DiCaprio's 2013 blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street.
Altogether, high-ranking government officials have stolen more than $4.5 billion from the fund over the past eight years or so, using money that was intended to promote economic development in Malaysia, to buy lavish items for themselves and their friends and family. Neither Low nor Razak, who denies he did anything wrong, have been officially charged yet; the USDJ has only filed civil complaints.
It is important to note that neither Kerr (who tied the knot with billionaire Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel last month) or DiCaprio are being charged. A spokesman for Kerr told the Dow Jones newswire, "From the start of the inquiry, Miranda Kerr cooperated fully and pledged to turn over the gifts of jewellery to the government," adding, "Ms Kerr will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can."
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