The actor's sole response so far to his alleged ties to the 1MDB corruption scandal asserted that he would return "gifts and charitable donations," but not the more than $25 million compensation he made from the 2013 hit.

A major anti-corruption organization has called on Leonardo DiCaprio to "do the right thing" and pay back his earnings from The Wolf of Wall Street, estimated to be worth at least $25 million, should the U.S. Justice Department find that they are linked to a multibillion-dollar 1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal.

"If he knows these are corrupt funds, we would very much like to see him return them," Samantha Grant of Transparency International, a Berlin-based non-governmental organization that looks to combat global corruption, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

On Oct. 18, DiCaprio issued his first statement concerning his ties to those allegedly connected to the scandal, including his Wolf of Wall Street producers Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland, who are co-founders of Red Granite, which funded the Martin Scorsese-directed film, and controversial Malaysian businessman Jho Low.

Coming three months after the DOJ filed its record-breaking seizure complaint, which included over a billion dollars of assets in the U.S. — properties, artwork and even the Wolf of Wall Street film itself, all allegedly financed with money diverted via the 1MDB Malaysian sovereign wealth fund — the statement, the only one so far from celebrities linked to the scandal, sought to assure the public that DiCaprio was working with authorities and support all "efforts to assure that justice is done in this matter."

Claiming to have first heard of the civil action in July, it asserted that DiCaprio "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."

However, while agreeing to return "gifts or charitable donations" is a bold step, it's only a fraction of the allegedly corrupt money DiCaprio may have received. The carefully worded statement may actually cover just a few million dollars, most coming from the sale of artworks on behalf of the Foundation, plus items such as Marlon Brando's best actor Oscar statuette for On the Waterfront, which was presented to the star as a birthday gift by Aziz and McFarland.

But there's also the not entirely small matter of DiCaprio's compensation for Wolf of Wall Street to consider.

The actor is estimated to have earned at least $25 million for his lead role as Jordan Belfort, plus more as a producer on a film that took home almost $400 million at the box office — money that would not be labeled by anyone as either "gifts" or "charitable donations."

From a legal perspective, experts say it would be unlikely that federal law enforcement authorities will pursue such earnings unless they are able to show he knew or should have known that the film's financing was rotten. They point to a doctrine called the "innocent owner defense."

Assuming that DiCaprio didn't knowingly facilitate the laundering of Malaysian public funds — and if he did know, he's potentially facing criminal troubles — he would probably fall under the category of a "bona fide purchaser of value,” meaning he rendered typical acting and production services to obtain the millions received for the film. The same goes for others who worked on Wolf of Wall Street, from those on the top of the food chain like Martin Scorsese to those on the bottom like those who guarded parking spots during the production.

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