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Pras Faces 22-year Federal Sentence Following Refusal of Plea Deal

March 13, 2023 | by Kali Girl

Pras, best known as a member of the hip hop group Fugees opens up for the first time about the complex legal story that transformed him from a money laundering suspect into a suspected Chinese government agent, reports Hip Hop DX.

Journalist Michael Ames of Rolling Stone explains how the rapper found himself at the center of a decade-long investigation involving two foreign nationals attempting to sway the U.S. government.

Pras recounts his involvement with a Malaysian national identified as Jho Low, who robbed his own country’s sovereign wealth fund, of $4.5 billion dollars.

Jho Low whose real name is Low Taek Jho, reportedly spent some the embezzled funds to enter the upper-class levels of American social and celebrity circles. For example, funding Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf Of Wall Street”, with a $100 million investment, in an effort to rub shoulders with actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

For the first few years, Pras and Jho Low’s business relationship entailed high-profile celebrity parties from the U.S. to Australia.

Later, Jho Low allegedly planned to bribe the United States government, just as he had with Malaysian officials. He saw an opportunity in Pras Michel’s connection to former President Barack Obama. According to the accusations, the first offense committed by the rapper involved a donation of over $1.1 million of Jho Low’s funds to Obama’s 2012 campaign, disguised as multiple donations from different people.

Back in 2019, Pras was indicted on four criminal counts for his alleged involvement in illegal contributions. Prosecutors presented him with a plea deal that if accepted, the charges against him would be dropped and the government would return some of the $74 million which was previously seized from his four bank accounts.

Maintaining his innocence, Pras rejected the plea deal and as a result is seemingly left on the hook for Low Taek Jho, who fled the country avoiding prosecution.

Additional players involved in the indictment, including two bankers of Goldman Sachs have agreed to testify against Pras.

After turning down the plea deal, Pras was hit with “a superseding indictment that added eight more criminal charges, including bank fraud, concealment of material facts, witness tampering, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and working as an unregistered agent of the People’s Republic of China.”

The trial set to start on March 27.

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