Rapper Pras Found Guilty In Federal Court On 10 Criminal Counts

Legendary Hip-Hop trio, Fugees’s one-time member, Pras Michel was found guilty in federal court on Wednesday, April 26th on 10 criminal counts that vary from conspiracy to failure to register as an agent of China.

In a complicated case that covers over a decade, Pras, whose government name is Prakazrel Michel, was accused of attempting to assist Malaysian business mogul Jho Low and the Chinese government gain access to the highest chambers of the United States government, including two former presidents — Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

At the depth of the trial were payments Michel received from Low. In testimony that happened last week, Michel mentioned that Low paid him $20 million in 2012 to get a picture of himself with Obama. Prosecutors claim that $800,000 of that money was then funnelled to Obama’s campaign through straw donors.

According to the defence, Michel had no ill intent: he claims he was just trying to make himself some money and had received poor legal advice on the matter. Michael also said Low never gave him guidance on how to spend the money. 

“I could have bought 12 elephants with it,” he informed the jury.

According to prosecutors, When Trump came to be president, Michel took $100 million and tried to play a middleman role in halting an investigation into a money laundering and bribery scheme Low was allegedly the mastermind behind. (Low, who is a fugitive, claims he is innocent.)

However, Prosecutors also say Michel championed the extradition of a Chinese dissident, billionaire business magnate Guo Wengui, on behalf of the Chinese government.

During his testimony, Michel claims he only tried to assist Low find an attorney in the US and that the $100 million was for a media business he was establishing; he also said he told authorities about Guo because he thought he was a criminal. 

The trial, which commenced last month, was one of the more interesting ones in recent recollection. It featured claims from Michel that he was an FBI informant to testimony from Leonardo Dicaprio. (Low-assisted fund for the 2012 film Wolf of Wall Street.) 

After the verdict was uttered, Michel’s lawyer David Kenner responded, saying: “This is not over… I remain very, very confident we will ultimately prevail.”

© 2023 • Story by Edem Latsu Nukafu
Writer’s email: edemlatsu093@gmail.com

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