The Money Laundering Case Against The Fugees’ Pras Michél Just Took Another Wild Turn

zo Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers…
Pras at a press conference at a hotel in Erbil, Iraq.
Photo by Hamit Huseyin for Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Pras has been hit with additional federal charges in connection to The Department of Justice’s investigation into a Malaysian money laundering scheme and the 2012 presidential election.

Two years after pleading not guilty in an international money laundering case, the legal battles of Pras Michél are only intensifying. According to a memo from The Department of Justice, the Fugees co-founder has been hit with a new set of federal charges tied to his alleged involvement with a Malaysian national and development company who attempted to wash millions of dollars by funneling the cash through contributions to Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

The new charges claim Michél and 39-year-old Malaysian financier Jho Low, conspired with Nickie Lum Davis, Elliott Broidy, and others to subsequently orchestrate “an unregistered, back-channel campaign” directed by Low and a Chinese official in order to lobby the Trump Administration to drop an embezzlement investigation into Low and the Malaysian company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and retain forfeited proceedings from the initial investigation. The memo claims Michél and Low were also attempting to get the Trump administration to send a Chinese dissident back to China.

The DOJ is charging both Michél and Low with “conspiring to commit money laundering related to the foreign influence campaigns.” Michél is being additionally charged with witness tampering and falsifying bank statements. If convicted, Low’s charges a potential max penalty of five to 10 years in prison, while Pras’ stands to serve five to 20 years, per count. All of this is tacked on to the previous charges alleging Michél accepted more than $70 million of Low’s money and sent it into the Obama campaign via personal donations and roughly 20 “straw donors.”

At the time of publishing, Pras and Low had yet to offer a statement regarding their new charges. A court date has yet to be announced. Stay tuned for updates on the case in the weeks and months ahead.

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