Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr has handed over to the US Justice Department $8 million worth of jewelry, which investigators believe was bought for her by a Malaysian businessman allegedly using stolen money, British newspaper The Guardian reported.
Kerr was gifted the jewelry in 2014 by Jho Low, a financier at the heart of a huge corruption scandal that has rattled the Malaysian government.
According to the report, the jewelry surrendered to authorities included a $3.8 million 8.88 carat diamond pendant fashioned by New York-based designer Lorraine Schwartz.
“From the start of the inquiry, Miranda Kerr cooperated fully and pledged to turn over the gifts of jewelry to the government,” Kerr’s spokesman said. “Ms. Kerr will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can.”
Kerr, who owns her own jewelry line, followed the example of Hollywood megastar Leonardo DiCaprio, who has turned over $3.2 million worth of artwork, including a Picasso painting, gifted to him by the Malaysian financier.
According to a 251-page document by the US Justice Department, Jho Low and an accomplice named Riza Aziz allegedly embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars from Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
The US Justice Department is seeking to seize more than $1.3 billion in assets from Jho Low, whose illicit shopping spree reportedly included a $30 million penthouse in London, a $40 million mansion in Beverly Hills – complete with a gold pyramid in the center of its pool – a $250 million luxury mega-yacht with a helicopter landing pad, and a rare, $800,000 pink diamond.
US authorities have yet to file charges against Jho Low or Aziz, and Kerr and DiCaprio have not been accused of any crime.