US charges Jho Low, ex-rapper over funding in 2012 election

Prakazrel

The indictment against Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, 46, was unsealed on Friday, the government says he received over $21 million from Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho (also known as "Jho Low") and funnelled it personally and through straw donors to President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, then lied about it to the Federal Elections Commission in 2015.

The fugitive entrepreneur Jho Low has been accused of "masterminding a massive diversion of cash from Malaysia's 1MDB wealth fund".

The charges against fugitive businessman Jho Taek Low and onetime Fugees member Prakazrel "Pras" Michel stem from a broad federal effort to track billions of dollars Low has already been accused of stealing from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund - a portion of which has allegedly been used to attempt to influence USA government officials.

The presidential candidate receiving the contributions was not identified in the indictment and was referred to only as "Candidate A". It's hardly surprising that organizations that supported Obama were also accepting foreign donations to support his campaign.

"The object of the conspiracy was for Michel and Jho Low to gain access to, and potential influence with, Candidate A and his administration, by secretly funneling foreign money from Jho Low through Michel", the indictment said.

Michel was charged with conspiracy to defraud U.S. government, falsifying records, and making a false statement.

Michel allegedly paid about $865,000 to about 20 "straw donors" so they could make donations in their names to a presidential joint fundraising committee.

Pras got hit with charges related to federal campaign finance crimes. The Justice Department previous year announced charges against Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers in a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered money from the fund, created to spur economic development projects in that country.

Michel's lawyer said his client is innocent and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury.

More than $1 million was allegedly funneled to an independent committee also involved in the election.

"Mr. Low is innocent - and he is presumed innocent under USA law", a spokesperson for Low, through his attorneys, said in a statement. "Mr".

One of those bankers, Roger Ng, was extradited from Malaysia earlier this month to face charges in NY.

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