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Fugees’ Pras Implicated in Multimillion-Dollar Malaysian Financial Conspiracy

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Rapper/producer Pras visits SiriusXM Studios on May 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Fugees founding member Pras (born Prakazrel Samuel Michel) has been accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars into the United States in connection with Malaysian financier Jho Low. As the New York Times reports, Michel was implicated by way of a guilty plea from former Justice Department official George Higginbotham, who admitted to being involved in an elaborate, multi-year scheme with the investment organization 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Court documents made public Friday reveal Michel’s involvement with Higginbotham, who was charged with one felony count of conspiracy for making false statements to a bank, according to NY Daily News. Higginbotham later pled guilty to the charges.

According to ABC News, Michel and Higgenbotham have been accused of hiding Low’s involvement with a lobbying campaign on behalf of 1MDB. The Malaysian businessmen reportedly misused over $4.5 billion from the company, which was laundered through a series of shell companies.

Michel founded the Fugees with Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean in the early 1990s, recording two albums—1994’s Blunted on Reality and 1996’s The Score—before breaking up in 1997. The Score was later awarded the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 1997, with the trio’s 1996 hit “Killing Me Softly” also winning Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group that year.