KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 3): The US Justice Department has asked a court to lift a stay on civil proceedings linked to a Malaysian fund at the center of its biggest ever“kleptocracy” probe, so that a settlement can be reached with producers of the movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.

In September, US prosecutors were granted a stay on dozens of civil lawsuits they filed in connection with US$1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with or funded by money stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to make way for a criminal probe into the scandal-hit state fund.

The court filing on Friday requesting the lifting of the stay order did not say whether prosecutors would now go ahead with a criminal probe. If they did, the timing could be awkward for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded 1MDB, as he prepares to call an election that must be held by August.

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