Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, formally of famed rap group Fugees, recently pleaded not guilty, after being charged with violating campaign-finances related to President Barack Obama‘s 2012 election.
According to Bloomberg, the former rap star has been hit with four charges, one of which included one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, and making foreign and conduit campaign contributions to the former POTUS’ re-election campaign. Michel, 46, along with businessman Low Taek Jho aka “Jho Low,” 37, are being charged for conspiracy, after Michel allegedly contributed funds to a pro-Obama organization without properly disclosing the funds’ foreign origin.
The fugitive entrepreneur Jho Low has been accused of “masterminding a massive diversion of cash from Malaysia’s 1MDB wealth fund.” The fund was initially established to help promote the economy in the developing country, however, was instead treated like a “slush fund” by Jho Low, according to Bloomberg. The charges brought against Michel and Jho Low are part of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department, into the fraudulent activity behind 1MDB.
In total, Michel is being charged with one count conspiracy, two counts of falsifying records and one count of making a false statement.
Barry Pollack, a representative for Michel, released a statement on his client’s behalf:
“Mr. Michel is extremely disappointed that so many years after the fact the government would bring charges related to 2012 campaign contributions. Mr. Michel is innocent of these charges and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury,” the attorney said.
Michael was recently released and granted permission to await his next court date at one of two of his residents in Florida and California. The retired rapper’s next court date is scheduled for May 16.