Here’s Why Leonardo DiCaprio Decided To Give Back His Oscar Leonardo DiCaprio was awarded Marlon Brando's best actor Oscar for his stellar performance in On the Waterfront as a birthday present, however, much to our surprise the Hollywood superstar handed the prestigious award over to the FBI as part of a federal investigation. According to Hello! Magazine the star was given the Oscar, along with a Jean-Michel Basquiat collage, Diane Arbus photography and a Picasso painting, by Jho Low, a purported financier of Red Granite Picture. The production company's co-founder Riza Aziz is currently suspected of helping his stepfather - the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak – embezzle around £3.6 billion through a political scheme, which also helped to fund Leo's 2013 film, The Wolf of Wall Street.
According to the court filing, the US government claim they believed the embezzled money paid for 'the co-conspirators' lavish lifestyles, inclusive of expensive jewellery and artwork.
Hollywood Reporter reported that Marlon's Oscar was purchased for around £475,600 through memorabilia dealer, Ralph DeLuca. Though Avra Douglas, the Brando estate's executor revealed the star's Oscar was never actually sold, but actually went missing. "[Marlon] was trying to track it down and kept hitting dead ends. There was some rumour that [late actor turned agent] Marty Ingels of all people had it, but that turned out to be untrue. It would be great to get it back."
Moreover, the purchase of an Oscar also goes against an Academy Award bylaw that does not permit recipients of the award or anyone who inherits one to sell the award itself without offering it back to the Academy for just $10. The Academy told the Hollywood Reporter: "We have a long history of enforcing our bylaws against the sale of post-1951 Oscars, and, where possible, even those awarded pre-1951. We have on many occasions prevented the sale of Oscars and enforced the Academy's rights to recover the statuettes."