Rapper Pras Michel of The Fugees was found guilty in Washington DC federal court on Wednesday (Apr. 26) of 10 counts related to a major conspiracy plot against the U.S. government.
As reported by CNN, the Grammy winner faced multiple counts over the failed plan to help Malaysian businessman Jho Low and the Chinese government gain access to high-profile U.S. officials, including former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Last week, Michel testified that Low paid him $20 million to get a picture with Obama in 2012. Prosecutors alleged that Michel then funneled $800,000 of that payout to Obama’s campaign through several straw donors.
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Michel fired back in defense, saying that he spent the money because he wanted to, not as an order by Low.
Low allegedly went to Michel again in 2017, when Trump was in office. Low directed over $100 million to Michel, in an effort to push the government to drop its investigation against him.
It was alleged that Low played a key role in billions of dollars being embezzled from 1MBD, a sovereign wealth fund in Malaysia.
Prosecutors also say that the “Ghetto Superstar” rapper advocated for the extradition of Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident, on the Chinese government’s behalf. (He has since been arrested and charged with fraud in a separate case.)
Michel testified that he only tried to help Low find an attorney in the U.S. to help his case. The $100 million, he said, was for a media business he was starting. He also said that the money didn’t come from Low.
Unfortunately for him, Michel had to face trial alone as Low has fled the country. He is believed to be hiding in China.
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