AN alternate juror in the trial of an ex-Goldman Sachs banker over the 1MDB scandal revealed having worked as an extra on “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was partly funded by cash looted in the scam.
At least $60 million diverted from the wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. was used to help produce the 2013 movie, according to the U.S. As recently as last week, the government showed jurors the front and back covers of the “Wolf” DVD as well as a screen shot in which Malaysian financier Jho Low – who prosecutors say was the mastermind of the 1MDB scheme – is thanked for helping make the film.
During a break and outside the jury’s presence on Monday, U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie read the alternate juror’s note to her out loud for the prosecutors and defense lawyers.
“Dear Judge Brodie,” she read. “I feel the need to disclose that I worked as a background actor/extra for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in late 2012 into 2013.” The alternate, whom Brodie didn’t identify, said he or she was hired and paid by an outside casting service and received $1,000 for the gig. “I had no interaction with any of the producers or anyone on the financial side of the film,” the alternate told the judge, adding that he or she wouldn’t mention it in deliberations if part of the panel that decides the case.
The government alleges that Low, now a fugitive, siphoned billions of dollars from 1MDB, for which Goldman Sachs Group Inc. arranged a trio of bond deals. Former Goldman banker Roger Ng is on trial, accused of conspiring to violate U.S. anti-bribery laws and launder money in the plundering of the fund.
“I do not believe this poses a problem,” Brodie said of the disclosure. None of the lawyers said anything, and the judge called a break.