Thousands of years ago the pharaohs of Egypt built extravagant pyramids honoring themselves at the expense of their people. It may be fitting, then, that the Beverly Hills home of Riza Aziz—the stepson of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak—has a weird (and seemingly pointless) pyramid replica sitting in the front room. Or, at least it did back in 2010, when Aziz purchased the $17.5-million property allegedly using money funneled out of an account meant to benefit the Malaysian public.
According to documents and sources consulted by the Wall Street Journal, the money used to buy the home came from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a government-run organization meant to lead “market-driven initiatives to assist the Government in propelling Malaysia towards becoming a developed nation that is highly competitive, sustainable and inclusive.” Apparently some of those market-driven initiatives may include purchasing 11,000-square-foot mansions for relatives of the prime minister.
Incredibly, this “walled & gated” house—complete with a 40-yard swimming pool—isn’t even the most opulent purchase Aziz allegedly made with 1MDB money. He also reportedly paid $33.5 million for a penthouse duplex in Manhattan’s Park Laurel tower. And in an incredible irony, the Journal also revealed earlier this year that Aziz allegedly used $155 million from 1MDB to finance The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese’s epic portrait of greed and excess.
Aziz’s Beverly Hills residence is apparently undergoing renovation now, and it’s anyone’s guess as to where the money for an update to the 1960 house is coming from. In the meantime, FBI agents (presumably resembling Kyle Chandler) are conducting an investigation into the real estate purchases of Aziz and his associate Jho Low.