Former Fugees rapper Pras Michel charged with campaign finance crimes

It's alleged he facilitated foreign contributions to a US presidential candidate.

Former Fugees rapper Pras Michel has been charged with campaign finance crimes in federal court, it is being reported.

According to the US Department of Justice, Prazazrel “Pras” Michel was yesterday (May 10) hit with a four-count indictment that charges him with “conspiracy to defraud the United States government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions,” as well as “one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.”

It is alleged that Pras facilitated the transfer of approximately $21,600,000 into the United States for a Malaysian businessman named Low Taek Jho (aka “Jho Low”), who was also charged in the indictment.

The Fugees: (L-R) Pras, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean (Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Reportedly brought into the country between June 2012 and November 2012, the money was allegedly to be used to funnel “significant sums of money into the United States presidential election as purportedly legitimate contributions, all while concealing the true source of the money.”

Which 2012 presidential candidate or candidates were to be the recipients of the money is unclear at this point.

Making a comment to Pitchfork, Michel’s attorney Barry J. Pollack stated: “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.”

In other Fugees news, Lauryn Hill has announced two big outdoor shows in the UK this coming summer.

After recently completing a European arena tour, Hill will return to UK shores in June and July for more live shows, where she’ll headline the Nocturne Live concert series at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on June 21 and the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in East Sussex on July 7.

The gigs will see Hill perform a career-spanning set, with a press release promising that the artist will play “tracks from her multi Grammy award-winning solo album, classic Fugees songs and new material.”