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Lookin' Like Prison For Pras

Fugees rapper Pras has been convicted for crimes in a massive political conspiracy spanning two presidencies and worth millions of dollars

Prakazrel Michel, also known as Pras, was charged on Wednesday (Apr. 26th) on 10 accounts against him in a trial accusing him of conspiracy and falsifying records to conduct a multimillion-dollar political conspiracy that spanned from the Barack Obama presidency to Donald Trump's.

The ex-Fugees member and Grammy-winner was accused of funneling money from a Malaysian financer (who is currently a fugitive) to Obama's reelection campaign in 2012 and attempting to prevent the Justice Department from conducting an investigation during the Trump administration, as well as trying to influence an extradition case for China.

The financer, Low Taek Jho (also known as Jho Low), had also interacted with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and helped finance the movie The Wolf of Wall Street among other Hollywood films. Hence this connection, DiCaprio was asked to testify in the case, to which he clarified that Jho had appeared as a legitimate businessman while also stating that the financer had mentioned donating money to Obama's reelection-run.

Prosecutors on the case claimed that Pras had taken in millions to donate for Jho, as well as worked to prevent the Justice Department under the Trump administration from investigating the financer's money-laundering scheme that stole billions from the Malaysian government. Jho is now an international criminal on the run due to his crimes.

Pras was also accused of being paid to influence the U.S. into extraditing a government critic that was suspected of having committing crimes back to China without registering as a foreign agent.

Pras' defense argued that was simply provided with bad legal advice and only wished to make money, while Pras himself claimed in his defense that Jho had desired a photo with Obama and expressed his willingness to pay millions to get it; Michel then agreed to help Jho through using the financer's money to pay people to attend fundraising events, something that Pras claims he was unaware was illegal.

In regards to the charge regarding China, the rapper's defense cited testimony from former Attorney General under the Trump administration Jeff Sessions, who claimed that he was aware of China wanting the extradition, but not of Pras', and decided that his attempts to initiate a meeting on the situation were not an issue.

Pras faces up to 20 years in prison for his charges. The ex-Fugee refused to comment on the verdict, however his lawyer declared in a statement to NBC that they are "extremely disappointed", further stating "This is not over...I remain very, very confident we will ultimately prevail," indicating that they plan to appeal.


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