Why Some Are Asking Leonardo DiCaprio To Return All Of His Wolf Of Wall Street Money

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Three years have passed since Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese collaborated on the financial bad-boys drama The Wolf of Wall Street, and professionally speaking, everyone has moved on. The director has Silence due in theaters later this year. The actor went on to earn his first Oscar for The Revenant, which he made with Alejandro Inarritu. But Wolf still casts a long shadow over DiCaprio due to allegations that he was aware of possible embezzlement that went into the funding of Scorsese's film, and now one group wants DiCaprio to give millions in earned salary back.

A little background information. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice filed a complaint against several financiers of Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, claiming that money that was given to the drama to produce came from a Malaysian Investment Fund known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB. DiCaprio's name is linked to men associated with the embezzlement scandal, though what the actor knew about where the money used to finance Wolf of Wall Street came from is still undetermined. DiCaprio quickly released a statement claiming that he and his foundation were cooperating fully with the DOJ, but after that, he has remained silent (wisely).

Now, according to THR, Transparency International is calling on Leonardo DiCaprio to return his earnings off of the film -- a figure that likely exceeds $25 million thanks to his producing credit on the film -- if the Department of Justice is able to establish a link between the act of siphoning funds away from 1MDB and funneling it to The Wolf of Wall Street production bank. Samantha Grant of Transparency International said in a statement:

If he knows these are corrupt funds, we would very much like to see him return them. If that money is found by the DOJ to be corrupt, to not give it back sort of says that money that was due to go to the Malaysian public is sitting in Leonardo DiCaprio's account.

Now, I basically imagine Leonardo DiCaprio's response to this request to start like this:

Leonardo DiCaprio 1

And move to this:

Leonardo DiCaprio laughing

But it's also not the first time Leonardo DiCaprio has faced legal issues related to The Wolf of Wall Street. Andrew Greene, a former executive at the firm that is depicted in Martin Scorsese's movie, sued Paramount over the way that he was portrayed, and he demanded that DiCaprio be deposed in court to help settle all legal issues. Now this embezzlement claim is hanging over his head. And it doesn't sound like it's going to fade away any time soon, as the DOJ's investigation digs deeper into the money that DiCaprio's associates may have taken from 1MDB and moved to Wolf, or other fractions of DiCaprio's charitable foundations. Stay tuned as more details on this story continue to drop.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.