Fugees’ Pras, Jho Low charged in scheme to get Trump administration to drop probe
Jho Low, director of the Jynwel Foundation, poses at the launch of the Global Daily website in Washington, DC, in this April 23, 2015 photo
Stuart Ramson | Invision for the United Nations Foundation
A federal grand jury has charged fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low and Fugees rapper Prakazrel “Pras” Michel with new criminal charges, accusing them of running a back-channel campaign to get the Trump administration to launch one Cease investigation against Low and the 1MDB investment company, and return a Chinese dissident to China.
The new charges against Low, 39, and 48-year-old Michel come six months after former President Donald Trump pardoned former top republican donor Elliot Broidy in connection with his October admission of guilt for his role in illegal lobbying on Low’s behalf .
CNBC reached out to Broidy’s attorney to ask if Broidy testified before the grand jury that indicted Low and Michel.
Because of his pardon, Broidy would not be able to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if he were testified before a grand jury investigating his activities with Low and Michel.
Broidy, a Los Angeles businessman, received $ 9 million for efforts on their behalf, with “expecting tens of millions more in success fees,” federal authorities said.
Two years ago, Low and Michel were charged in federal court in Washington, DC, with allegedly injecting millions of dollars of Low’s money to support then-President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Pras Michel of hip hop group The Fugees will perform in New York City, New York on August 1, 1996.
Al Pereira | Michael Ochs Archive | Getty Images
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The indictment issued Thursday by a Washington grand jury accused Low and Michel of conspiring with Broidy, a woman named Nickie Lum Davis, and others “to conduct secret lobbying campaigns on the orders of Low and the People’s Republic’s Vice Secretary of Public Security “. from China, “said the Justice Department.
The goals of these campaigns were “to end both the investigation into the 1MDB embezzlement and the recovery process in which Low and others were involved, and to send a Chinese dissident back to China.”
This dissident is said to be billionaire Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok and Miles Guo.
The new indictment also accuses Michel and Low of conspiring to launder money in connection with the foreign influence campaigns, the Justice Department said. Michel is also charged with manipulating witnesses and conspiring to give false testimony to banks.
Davis pleaded guilty in August of violating foreign lobbying law in a Justice Department investigation into 1MDB.
Also in August, Trump’s former senior advisor, Steve Bannon, was arrested on Guo’s yacht off the Connecticut coast on charges of having cheated thousands of donors through a crowdfunding campaign to privately build part of a wall along the United States. Border with mexico.
Trump pardoned Bannon on his last night in office in January, while pardoning Broidy.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs reached a postponed prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice last year in connection with the conspiracy in which the bank and its Malaysian entity violated U.S. bribery laws by paying Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials, to get business from 1MDB.
Goldman, which received approximately $ 600 million in fees for bond transactions that financed the bank, agreed to pay more than $ 2.9 billion under this deferred law enforcement arrangement.