Miranda Kerr Hands Over $8.1 Million in Jewelry to Justice Department – WSJ


Miranda Kerr Hands Over $8.1 Million in Jewelry to Justice Department

Australian model Miranda Kerr has handed over $8.1 million worth of jewelry to the U.S. Justice Department a week after lawsuits said it was purchased for her by Malaysian financier Jho Low with allegedly misappropriated funds, according to her spokesman.

Ms. Kerr transferred the gifts Friday to government agents from her safe-deposit box in Los Angeles, the spokesman said.

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

Ms. Kerr isn’t a defendant in the lawsuits.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The department filed civil-forfeiture lawsuits this year and last year seeking assets it alleges were bought with money misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB.

The jewelry is among more than $1.7 billion worth of assets the Justice Department seeks; the assets also include a $250 million yacht, stakes in companies and luxury real estate in London, New York and Los Angeles.

1MDB has denied any wrongdoing and said it has found no evidence any of its money was misappropriated. The fund has pledged to cooperate with any lawful investigation. Malaysia has closed all but one of its domestic investigations into 1MDB with no wrongdoing found.

Mr. Low, who hasn’t been accused of a crime, said in a statement after the latest asset forfeiture cases were filed that the U.S. government’s “latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.” He has pledged to fight the lawsuits.

Ms. Kerr dated Mr. Low for about a year in 2014, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Justice Department says that during that time he gave her four gifts of jewelry. Ms. Kerr was married last month to Snap Inc. co-founder Evan Spiegel.

Mr. Low bought one of the pieces, a 11.72 carat, heart-shaped diamond pendant, as a Valentine’s Day gift for Ms. Kerr from the well-known jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, the civil forfeiture complaint says.

On Jan. 29, 2014, he texted Ms. Schwartz to ask about a heart-shaped necklace, adding that he had a budget of $1 million to $2 million and that “[s]ize matters,” the complaint says. The final cost was $1.29 million, it said.

He also gave her an 8.88-carat diamond pendant worth $3.8 million, the complaint says.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for actor Leonardo DiCaprio said Mr. DiCaprio had turned over artwork gifted to him by Mr. Low, alleged gifts described in one of the Justice Department lawsuits.

Miranda Kerr Hands Over $8.1 Million in Jewelry to Justice Department
By Bradley Hope
June 26, 2017 – WSJ


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