Model returns illegally attained jewelry, worth millions, to DOJ

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Last week, model Miranda Kerr turned over $8.1 million worth of jewelry to the Justice Department, after U.S. prosecutors said the items had been gifted to her with money from a fund meant for economic development in Malaysia.

According to a lawsuit filed last week, U.S. prosecutors say the jewelry Malaysian financier Jho Low gave Kerr was paid for with misappropriated funds from the Malaysian government. The gifts, which included a diamond necklace, earrings and a heart-shaped diamond, were given to the Australian model, who is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Reportedly, Kerr gave the jewelry to U.S. government officials on Friday, and she’s been cooperative.

“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.”

Investigators say more than $1 billion worth of assets were allegedly paid for with money intended for Malaysian development, a majority of it from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.  1MDB rejects the allegations, claiming there isn’t any evidence that their money was misappropriated, according to reports.

The Justice Department is probing assets such as Low’s $250 million yacht, as well as over $13 million worth of artwork gifted to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. For his part, Low denies any violation, and says the U.S. government attempt to seize the asset is “inappropriate.”

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