Pras of the Fugees indicted for illegal political campaign donations
The rapper is accused of funneling foreign money to a super PAC.
Pras Michel, former member of the Fugees, has been charged with campaign finance violations that took place during the 2012 United States presidential race.
According to the Washington Times, the rapper is accused of funneling foreign money to an independent political action committee that allegedly supported former president Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
TMZ noted that the legal document didn’t specifically mention Obama’s name, but highlighted a few times where Pras was photographed with Obama.
Prosecutors accused Prais conspiring with Malaysian businessman Jho Low to hide the source of the money. The scam reportedly involved falsifying records to funnel millions of dollars from foreign accounts to the United States. The payment was allegedly split up among “straw donors” that made small donations to a super PAC.
“Mr. Michel is extremely disappointed that so many years after the fact the government would bring charges related to 2012 campaign contributions,” Pras’ attorney Barry Pollack said in a statement to CNN. “Mr. Michel is innocent of these charges and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury,” Pollack said in a statement.
Pras is facing charges of conspiracy, making a false statement, and two counts of falsifying records.
Pras and Low were also named in a 2018 DOJ investigation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
“According to the allegations in the complaint, Michel and [former Justice Department official George Higginbotham] defrauded U.S. financial institutions and laundered millions of dollars into the United States as part of an effort to improperly influence the Department’s investigation into the massive embezzlement and bribery scheme involving 1MDB,” Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said in a 2018 press release. “The Criminal Division and our law enforcement partners will do everything we can to trace, seize, and forfeit the proceeds of foreign corruption that flow through the U.S. financial system.”
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