Hip-hop MC Pras of Fugees fame has been hit with new charges by the U.S. Government in a corruption scandal along with a Malaysian billionaire that authorities say dates back to former President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Pras, 48, and Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, 39, also known as Jho Low, have been charged “with orchestrating an unregistered, back-channel campaign beginning in or about 2017 to influence the then-administration of the President of the United States and the Department of Justice both to drop the investigation of Jho Low and others in connection with the international strategic and development company known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and to send a Chinese dissident back to China.”
The duo allegedly conspired with former GOP fundraiser Elliot Broidy and a woman named Nickie Lum Davis to persuade the Trump administration to drop an investigation in which they were charged with illegally laundering millions of dollars to Obama’s 2012 campaign and campaign finance violations. Broidy – who was pardoned by then-President Donald Trump on his last day in office – is said to have been paid $9 million for his role in the matter. He was also due to receive more money if he was successful, according to authorities.
In the initial case, Jho is accused of giving Pras millions of dollars to distribute to straw donors to support Obama. However, the source of the funding was never disclosed and failure to do so when a foreign donor is involved is a crime.
Initially charged in 2019, Pras pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was arrested, but at the time, Pras said he was “totally innocent” and refused a plea deal. Jho was never arrested and has been deemed an international fugitive.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?
Issued by a Federal Grand Jury on Thursday, June 10, the indictment for the latest charges accused Pras and Jho with “conspiring to commit money laundering related to the foreign influence campaigns.” Born Prakazrel Michel, Pras was also “charged with witness tampering and conspiracy to make false statements to banks.”
The Chinese dissident whom Jho and Pras are accused of trying to have sent back to China is “understood to be billionaire Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok and Miles Guo,” according to CNBC.