A jury in a federal court found rapper Prakazrel Michel, better-known as Pras from the Fugees, guilty of conspiracy charges related to using foreign influence in two presidential administrations.
Michel was accused of donating money on behalf of Malaysian investor Low Taek Jho to Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign and attempting to stifle a DOJ investigation into Low. He was also accused of taking money to influence an extradition case for China during the Trump administration, the AP reports.
Michel was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., witness tampering and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
Michel was first charged in 2019 after an unsealed indictment revealed that, “between June 2012 and November 2012, Low directed the transfer of approximately $21.6 million from foreign entities and accounts to Michel to be funneled into the U.S. election while disguising it as legitimate campaign contributions,” Reuters reports.
However, it is illegal for foreign nationals to make political contributions in U.S. federal, state or local elections.
Later, under the Trump administration, jurors found that Michel attempted to persuade senior officials to deport a Chinese businessman living in the U.S. “in exchange for the release of U.S. citizens and residents being detained in China.”
He now faces up to 20 years in prison.