Pras Testifies In His Own Federal Trial

Pras took the stand in his own federal trial on Tuesday.

BYCole Blake
Former Rapper Pras Michel Goes On Trial For Conspiracy Charges In Washington, D.C.

Pras took the stand in his own federal trial on Tuesday, during which he discussed his relationship with Malaysian financier Jho Low. In doing so, he revealed that he worked as an FBI informant in China’s efforts to extradite billionaire Guo Wengui.

Pras explained that he made the decision to testify, an unusual move by a defendant, “after consulting with my attorneys and the universe.” In addition to covering Guo Wengiu, Pras says that he also discussed three Americans that China was holding hostage with the FBI. “I took it upon myself to report because I thought the FBI should know,” he said.

Pras Arrives At Court

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 03: Pras Michel, a member of the Fugees and his lawyer David Kenner (R) arrive at U.S. District Court on April 3, 2023 in Washington, DC. Michel is on trial for his alleged participation in a campaign finance conspiracy. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

As for his relationship with Jho Low, Pras told jurors he served as his “celebrity surrogate." He added that Low paid him $20 million to get him a photo with former President Barrack Obama in 2012. “They didn’t want the optics at that time,” Pras said. “At that point, Jho Low was a party guy — Vegas, champagne, parties with Paris Hilton. The campaign just didn’t want that.”

While Pras claims that all of his actions were by the book, the prosecution alleges the Fugees rapper was paid hundreds of millions of embezzled Malaysian dollars to run a foreign-influence campaign against the U.S. government. “The defendant needed money and was willing to do anything to get it, including being an agent of the Chinese government,” prosecutor Nicole Lockhart said. “The defendant wanted money and was willing to break any laws necessary to get paid.”

Pras says that he never made any political donations on Low’s behalf and he only ever used his own money. He also says he ran everything he did by his lawyers to ensure he was doing everything correctly. Pras has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and falsifying records. He faces 22 years in prison if convicted.


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About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.