KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and has asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits in connection with $1.7 billion in assets allegedly bought with money stolen from the scandal-hit state fund.

A total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, according to dozens of civil lawsuits filed by the U.S Justice Department in the past two years.

1MDB did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

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