Former Fugees rapper Pras and fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low face additional charges after being accused of running a back-channel campaign to get the Trump administration to drop its investigation into the 1MDB investment company.
Pras, real name Prakazrel Michel, 48, and Low, 39, real name Low Taek Jho, are part of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department into fraudulent activity by 1MDB. According to CNBC, the new charges also accuse the pair of illegally lobbying to have Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident, returned to China.
The DOJ claims the pair allegedly conspired with Elliott Broidy to obstruct a federal investigation into the $6 billion money-laundering and bribery scandal surrounding 1MDB. Broidy was pardoned by Donald Trump six months ago after pleading guilty for his role in the illegal lobbying scheme on Low’s behalf.
A federal court in Washington D.C. charged Michel and Low two years ago with illegally funneling millions of dollars of Low’s money into the 2012 presidential campaign for Barack Obama.
The indictment handed down on Thursday by a grand jury in Washington accuses Michel and Low of conspiring with Broidy and other individuals “to engage in undisclosed lobbying campaigns at the direction of Low and the Vice Minister of Public Security for the People’s Republic of China, respectively,” according to the Justice Department. The new indictment also accuses the two men of money laundering. In addition, Michel is facing charges of witness tampering and conspiracy to make false statements to banks.
According to The Grio, the former rapper faces five to 20 years in prison for each count.