PRAS MICHEL TO STAND TRIAL FOR CONSPIRACY FACING DECADES IN PRISON IF CONVICTED.
By: Niko Mujitori
PRAS MICHEL, the Grammy-winning musician and former lead singer of the FUGEES, will stand criminal trial in Washington, DC, for conspiracy, witness tampering, and failing to register as an agent for China. Jury selection in the high-profile criminal trial begins Monday, March 27, 2023.
At the center of the case, United States of America v. PRAS MICHEL, is a man named JHO LOW, accused of stealing billions of dollars from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund and using the money to enrich himself and buy political favors from politicians in Washington, DC.
According to the Justice Department, MICHEL received over 100 million dollars from LOW, a foreign fugitive responsible for the world’s largest embezzlement scheme. MICHEL promised LOW that with that much money, he could get the President of the United States to drop a Justice Department investigation into LOW’s embezzlement and to agree to the extrajudicial removal of a Chinese exile living in the United States, a man sought by the Chinese government.
According to the prosecutor, MICHEL was involved in two plots designed to curry favors with President OBAMA.
The first plot was an illegal plan to enlist people to attend a fundraising dinner for Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign and reimburse them $40,000 a piece using foreign sources of money for the cost of the tickets, and then threatening some of them if they came clean to authorities.
The second plot involved a secret lobbying campaign to help LOW lean on American justice officials and White House officials when his fraud scheme unraveled — and to help the Chinese government “secure the return” of a dissident who was living inside the U.S. and developing close ties with former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
The FBI arrested the Chinese dissident, MILES GUO, earlier this month for allegedly orchestrating a separate financial fraud unconnected to MICHEL and U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has largely excluded evidence about that case from the Michel trial.
Several co-conspirators of MICHEL, including GEORGE HIGGINBOTHAM, a former Justice Department lawyer moonlighting on work for Michel while at the same time, he served in the government, have pleaded guilty or secured immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimonies against MICHEL.
MICHEL, whose parents hailed from Haiti, served as an advisor to the former President of Haiti, Michel Martelly. If convicted, MICHEL is facing decades in prison. The government made an offer of two years in prison in an attempt to resolve the criminal case, but MICHEL and his lawyers declined the offer, a mistake that MICHEL may live to regret.