Pras Michel opted to testify in his federal conspiracy trial on Tuesday (April 18). The Fugees rapper, 50, revealed he made the decision “after consulting with my attorneys and the universe,” per Mother Jones reporter Dan Friedman on Twitter.
During his testimony, according to Rolling Stone, Michel admitted that he voluntarily met with FBI agents on several occasions to discuss Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and three Americans whom were being held hostage in China.
“I took it upon myself to report because I thought the FBI should know,” Michel explained.
He has plead not guilty on federal counts of conspiracy and falsifying records. The charges are tied to Low’s alleged crimes, in which he was accused of stealing $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.
Prosecutors claim Michel pocketed millions from Low during both the Barack Obama and Donald Trump presidential administrations. Michel and Low first met at a nightclub in 2006. Bloomberg reported Michel explained he served as a “celebrity surrogate” for Low, stating the financier paid him $20 million to help obtain a photo with Obama in 2012. Low did get said photo at the White House Christmas Party that year.
Leonardo DiCaprio, who testified in the trial earlier this month, claimed to be impressed by Low’s reputation of being “sort of a prodigy in the business world and ultra-successful.”
Michel later told Rolling Stone that he met Low when he was zealous about joining politics as a means to “help people.” Adding, “I was one of those people who was just dabbling. I never thought I would be full-time into politics. I realized politics is not for me. The problem with politics is this: It’s that the people within politics, they’re dirtier than the people who are not in politics.”
He insists that he’s never made any political donations on Low’s behalf. Michel is facing 22 years in prison if convicted.