Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, who is the co-founder and a rapper of American hip hop group Fugees, has been charged with allegedly “orchestrating an unregistered, back-channel campaign” to influence the Trump administration to drop an investigation into people connected with development company 1Malaysia Development Berhad, according to the Department of Justice.
Two years ago Pras and Malaysian businessman Jho Low were charged over accusations that they funneled millions of dollars into the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Pras pleaded not guilty to the charges and, as of now, Low hasn’t been arrested.
On Friday the American Justice Department publicly announced that they’d charged Pras with intervening with their investigation. The department alleges that Pras, along with some others, engaged in lobbying campaigns directed by Low and the Vice Minister of Public Security for the People’s Republic of China, so the 1MDB embezzlement investigation could be dropped along with the “forfeiture proceedings involving Low and others.”
U.S. Entertainer/Businessman and Malaysian National Charged with Back-Channel Lobbying Campaign to Drop 1MDB Investigation and Remove Chinese Dissident from U.S.https://t.co/WiUq7m6RL3
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) June 11, 2021
Pras is now facing money-laundering conspiracy charges, witness tampering and conspiracy to make false statements to banks.
The bevvy of charges above isn’t the only legal hot water Pras is involved in, last year he was also arrested for an outstanding child support balance of (USD) $127,000.
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According to the DOJ Michel would face maximum penalties from five to 20 years in prison, per count, if found guilty.
Pras is one of the founding members of Fugees and the other group members consisted of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill. The group achieved massive success with their album The Score being one of the best selling albums of all time, selling approximately ten million copies worldwide.
Though all members of the group started solo projects in 1997, a DJ has leaked an unreleased track by The Fugees in 2017. An audio-rip of the song’s premiere was uploaded online and you can listen to it here.