One of Barack Obama's favorite rappers has been charged with illegally financing his re-election campaign. He has also been tied to Malaysia's sprawling 1MDB embezzlement scandal.
Former Fugees rapper Prakazrel "Pras” Michel was charged alongside a Malaysian businessman on Friday for conspiring to funnel illegal funds into the 2012 US presidential election campaign.
The charges against the rapper and businessman Low Taek Jho, best known as "Jho Low," were brought by the US Justice Department.
Low allegedly directed the transfer of about $21.6 million (€19.3 million) from foreign entities and accounts to Michel, who then allegedly funneled the money into the election disguised as legitimate campaign contributions.
Michel's lawyer said his client is innocent and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury.
He faces a separate civil forfeiture complaint for his involvement in a scheme to try to get the US Justice Department to drop an investigation into embezzlement from a Malaysian investment fund 1MDB.
Former US President Obama once listed the Fugees hit Ready or Not as his favorite song. Other artists on the list were Marvin Gaye, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Nina Simone, Kanye West, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, U2 and will.i.am.
aw/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)