The rapper Pras Michel was found guilty on 10 criminal counts stemming from a global conspiracy that reached the top echelons of the US government on Wednesday in federal court in Washington. The Grammy-winning musician and former Fugees member were charged with several offenses in connection with a plot that didn’t work to give access to US politicians, including former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, to the Chinese government and Malaysian businessman Jho Low.
Michel was found responsible for witness tampering, conspiring to defraud the US, and working as an unregistered agent of a foreign country. He might spend up to 20 years behind bars. There is no established date for sentencing. On Wednesday, Michel remained motionless as each count was announced and made no remarks to reporters outside the courthouse.
Even though the results were disappointing, David Kenner, the defendant’s attorney, expressed confidence that their mistrial arguments would be successful. Kenner told reporters, “We are extremely unhappy with that verdict but are very, very sure in the final result of this case. If we do advance to a sentencing hearing, I remain very convinced we will appeal this case. It’s not over yet.”
You may also read the most recent version of our article here:
- Steven Crowder Recently Announced He’s Getting a Divorce From His Wife
- Transgender Lawmaker Barred From Montana House Floor
- What Is Debt Management?
Michel claimed in his testimony last week that Low gave him $20 million in 2012 for a photo of him with Obama, and the prosecution claimed that Michel used many straw donors to transfer over $800,000 of that sum to Obama’s campaign. In his defense, Michel argued that he never spent the money as Low had instructed, but rather treated it as his own cash that he was free to use any way he pleased.
He informed the jurors, “I could have bought 12 elephants with it.” Low allegedly went back to Michel when Trump took office in 2017 and investigations into his alleged involvement in the theft of billions of dollars from 1MBD, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, ramped up.
Prosecutors claim that Low gave Michel more than $100 million in order to pressure the government, including Trump, to end its probe against Low. Additionally, according to the prosecution, Michel pushed for Guo Wengui’s extradition on behalf of the Chinese government.
Michel, however, asserted that he simply attempted to assist Low in finding legal counsel in the US and that he only informed the authorities about Guo because he believed him to be a criminal. The former Fugees member added that Low did not invest the $100 million; rather, it was for a media company he was launching.
Low, who was accused of the same crime as Michel, is thought to be in China. Since then, Guo has been detained and accused of scamming investors in a separate lawsuit by the Justice Department.