Article Oct 19, 2016

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Leonardo DiCaprio's charity foundation issues statement on corruption scandal

A spokesperson for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has issued a statement after the actor was accused of corruption by the director of a rainforest charity.

The Academy Award winner was accused of accepting embezzled money for his environmental foundation from a reported billion-dollar wealth fund, headed by Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, and Lukas Straumann, director of the Bruno Manser Funds, a charity concerned with deforestation in Malaysia, recently called on the actor and environmental activist to step down as a United Nations Messenger of Peace over the scandal.

The Revenant star has yet to comment on the controversy, but on Tuesday (18Oct16) a spokesperson for his charity organization released a statement indicating they are co-operating with the investigation.

"Several months ago in July, Mr. DiCaprio first learned through press reports of the government's civil action against some of the parties involved in the making of The Wolf of Wall Street," the statement reads. "He immediately had his representatives reach out to the Department of Justice to determine whether he or his foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), ever received any gifts or charitable donations directly or indirectly related to these parties, and if so, to return those gifts or donations as soon as possible.

"All contact was initiated by Mr. DiCaprio and LDF. Both Mr. DiCaprio and LDF continue to be entirely supportive of all efforts to assure that justice is done in this matter. Mr. DiCaprio is grateful for the lead and instruction of the government on how to accomplish this.

"Out of respect for its ongoing investigation, which has touched many charities, hospitals and individuals, who may have been unwitting recipients of funds now in question, Mr. DiCaprio has refrained from public comment throughout this period of investigation. He will continue to limit his statements on this matter."