Pras found guilty of multi-million dollar conspiracy charges & working as an agent for China
The ex-Fugees rapper is facing 20 years in jail
When the Fugees came out, a lot of the focus was on Wyclef, because he was a multi-instrumentalist, and Lauryn Hill, because she was just a dope rhyme spitter. Many people overlooked the contributions of Pras Michel, the third member, even though he had a great voice and some of the dopest lines in their double-diamond-selling plus album, The Score.
Over the past few weeks, Pras has been overlooked no more. He was recently on trial for conspiracy charges and working as an unregistered agent for China. He was found guilty on all 10 counts and now faces 20 years in prison.
The story sounds like it should be out of a detective movie. Pras met Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman who had links to the Chinese government. Low paid Pras US$20 million to help him get a picture with former US President Barack Obama. The prosecution said that US$800,000 of that money was funneled into Obama’s campaign using straw donors.
Pras claimed he was not directed on what to do with the money. While testifying on the stand, Pras told the jury, “I could have bought 12 elephants with it.” His words didn’t sway anyone and his claim that he just received bad financial advice didn’t cut it.
After Donald Trump got elected, Pras was the middleman in a US$100 million money laundering and bribery scheme Jho Low was involved in. He advocated for the extradition of a Chinese dissident, billionaire businessman Guo Wengui, on behalf of the Chinese government. Pras said that the US$100 million was to set up a media company and that he turned himself in because he thought Guo was a criminal.
None of these excuses mattered to the jury as Pras was found guilty on all 10 charges and will soon be sentenced to up to 20 years in jail.