Rapper indicted for funneling 21.6 million in illegal foreign donations to Obama's 2012 re-election fund

Rapper indicted for funneling 21.6 million in illegal foreign donations to Obama’s 2012 re-election fund

Foreigners and foreign companies are forbidden by law to contribute to political campaigns. They are certainly not allowed to funnel 21.6 million from foreign donors to a campaign.

Pras Michel, a rapper for the group ‘The Fugees’ was indicted by the feds on Friday for funneling 21.6 million dollars to Obama’s 2012 reelection fund.

Also involved was Jho Low, who’s a key figure in what is known as the 1MDB scandal, which has rocked Malaysian political and financial circles. was indicted last year on conspiracy charges related to a scam from which he will be facing charges that he defrauded investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Low was the one that provided the money to Pras Michel.


Jho Low (left), Pras Michael (Right)

The indictment says that between June and November 2012, Low transferred $21.6 million to Michel “for the purpose of funneling significant sums of money into the United States presidential election.”

Michel allegedly paid about $865,000 to about 20 “straw donors” so they could make donations in their names to a presidential joint fundraising committee.

Via the DOJ:

According to the indictment, between June 2012 and November 2012, Low directed the transfer of approximately $21,600,000 from foreign entities and accounts to Michel for the purpose of funneling significant sums of money into the United States presidential election as purportedly legitimate contributions, all while concealing the true source of the money.

To facilitate the excessive contributions and conceal their true source, Michel paid approximately $865,000 of the money received from Low to about 20 straw donors, or conduits, so that the straw donors could make donations in their names to a presidential joint fundraising committee.  In addition, Michel personally directed more than $1 million of the money received from Low to an independent expenditure committee also involved in the presidential election in 2012.

The indictment also alleges that by funneling campaign contributions through straw donors, Michel caused a presidential joint fundraising committee to submit false reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), including a false amended report in June 2013.  The committee’s reports were false because they identified the straw donors, rather than Low or Michel, as the true source of the contributions.

In addition, the indictment alleges that by contributing more than $1 million of the money he received from Low to an independent expenditure committee, Michel also caused that committee to submit false reports to the FEC, insofar as those reports identified Michel as the source of the contributions when, in fact, it was Low.

The indictment further alleges that in June 2015, Michel submitted a false declaration to the FEC in which he claimed that he had no reason to conceal the true source of his contributions to the independent expenditure committee in 2012, even though Michel knew that the true source of that money was Low and that Michel had funneled the foreign money into the election.

Pras Michel appeared in court in Washington on Friday and pleaded not guilty.

Low remains at large and his whereabouts are unknown.

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