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Fugee’s rapper convicted in money laundering scheme to Obama… multi-million dollar conspiracy involved Leo DiCaprio, Malaysian billionaire playboy, and spy-novel tale of Chinese foreign influence…
One of the most bizarre criminal trials in recent memory has concluded with the conviction of Fugees’ founder Prakazrel “Pras” Michel for multi-million dollar political conspiracies
A Fugees rapper accused in multimillion-dollar political conspiracies spanning two presidencies was convicted Wednesday after a trial that included testimony ranging from actor Leonardo DiCaprio to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Prakazrel “Pras” Michel was accused of funneling money from a now-fugitive Malaysian financer through straw donors to Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, then trying to squelch a Justice Department investigation and influence an extradition case on behalf of China under the Trump administration.
The defense argued the Grammy-winning rapper from the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees simply wanted to make money and got bad legal advice as he reinvented himself in the world of politics.
Michel first met Malaysian financer Low Taek Jho in 2006, when the businessman usually known as Jho Low was dropping huge sums of money and hobnobbing with the likes of Paris Hilton.
Low helped finance Hollywood films, including “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
DiCaprio testified Low had appeared to him as a legitimate businessman and had mentioned wanting to donate to Obama’s campaign.
Michel also testified in his own defense.
He said Low wanted a picture with Obama in 2012 and was willing to pay millions of dollars to get it. Michel agreed to help and used some of the money he got to pay for friends to attend fundraising events.
No one had ever told him that was illegal, he said.
Prosecutors said Michel was donating the money on Low’s behalf, and later tried to lean on the straw donors with texts from burner phones to keep them from talking to investigators
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