Update: 5:15 p.m. ET (April 26, 2023) – Pras Michel’s attorney, David Kenner, has issued a statement via email regarding the guilty verdict.
“We are of course very disappointed, but I am very confident in the ultimate outcome of this case. Her honor gave us a briefing schedule that will allow us to brief a number of motions that I made during the course of this trial. That briefing schedule extends out into July. Her honor pointed out today that after those decisions are made, based on the briefs, she will determine whether it is still necessary to move to a sentencing hearing. If we do move to a sentencing hearing, I remain very confident that we will, with certainty, appeal this case. This is not over. I remain very, very confident that we will ultimately prevail in this matter.”
He later added, “I filed motions for mistrial and other motions during the course of the trial. It is Her Honor’s practice take those under submission and to rule on them after all of the evidence is in. I remain enormously confident that this case is not over and that we will ultimately prevail.”
Original story below…
Pras Michel has been found guilty on all 10 criminal counts in the federal conspiracy trial or what prosecutors are calling a “clandestine foreign influence campaign scheme” to help Malaysian businessman Jho Low obtain access to former presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump and illegally fund part of their campaigns, CBS News reports.
Michel testified last week that he voluntarily met with FBI agents multiple times to discuss Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and three Americans who were being held hostage in China. “I took it upon myself to report because I thought the FBI should know,” he explained. He also shared that Low paid him $20 million to secure a photo of Low and Obama with prosecutors arguing that over $800,000 of those funds were funneled to Obama’s reelection campaign through a series of straw donors under Low’s direction.
The former Fugees rapper refuted, stating that wasn’t the case and the money was a gift. His attorney, David Kenner, added, “This is all about a highly valuable photo. He was trying to make money…it is not illegal.”
During his testimony, Michel also disclosed that “no one I spoke to ever mentioned” federal laws requiring him to register as a foreign agent; otherwise, he explained he would have done so. Kenner called the government’s case a “house of cards” and that they did not prove Michel’s intent to break the law.
In regards to a separate $100 million called into question, Michel said it was for a media business he was starting, not an investment from Low.
Low has been accused of embezzling $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. He is currently on the run but believed to be in China. There’s currently no word on when sentencing will take place, but Michel is facing 22 years in prison.
VIBE has reached out to Michel’s legal team for comment.