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Fugees Pras Michel on Trial: Dicaprio Testifies in Alleged Influence Scheme

Fugees Pras Michel on Trial

Fugees Pras Michel on Trial

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio testified in the trial of hip-hop artist Pras Michel on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., about allegations that Michel ran an unlawful multimillion-dollar influence operation, which he denies.

Michel, a founding member of the 1990s band the Fugees, is charged with illegally transferring funds from a Malaysian financier into American politics, notably by making contributions to the 2012 reelection campaign of former President Barack Obama.

Insisting on his innocence, Michel once turned down the government’s offer of a plea bargain. On Thursday, his trial got underway.

When questioned about DiCaprio’s testimony by ABC News on Monday, he declined to comment. As the courtroom filled to full, DiCaprio, who had been called a prosecution witness, entered the room wearing a black, fitted suit, a light blue shirt, and his distinctive goatee.

In response to inquiries from the authorities regarding his interactions with alleged Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, he spoke slowly and deliberately.

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Among other things, Michel is accused of making unlawful campaign contributions, misrepresenting documents, and conspiring to conduct fraud.

DiCaprio’s testimony looked to be used by the prosecution to demonstrate to the jury how Low allegedly used money to obtain access to affluent and influential people, including celebrities.

DiCaprio is not charged with any criminal offenses.

He was questioned about details from a party he attended with Low in Las Vegas at one point, and when he said he couldn’t exactly remember, the audience in the courtroom laughed. His evidence also contained some lighter moments.

Once they initially met in Las Vegas more than ten years ago, he claimed Low invited him to several parties and gatherings. He would throw numerous extravagant parties, according to DiCaprio.

Low had been inquiring about projects DiCaprio was interested in pursuing when DiCaprio broached the idea of financing his movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the actor testified. DiCaprio said he only knew Low as an “incredibly successful” businessman then.

After conducting background checks, DiCaprio and the studio, according to the actor, gave the “all clear” to Low financing the movie through his production company, Red Granite Productions.

During one of their political conversations, DiCaprio stated Low brought up making a “major donation” of between $20 and $30 million to the Democratic Party.

“I said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money,'” DiCaprio recalled.

The defense directly questioned DiCaprio on any potential issues with “The Wolf of Wall Street’s” foreign financing. Despite the “complications” with the money, DiCaprio claimed he was never asked to return any of it.

According to court filings, former Trump White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, former Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and casino tycoon Steve Wynn might also testify in the trial.

On Monday, after DiCaprio left the witness stand, the court heard testimony from Rudolph Moise, a former congressional candidate, who admitted to accepting funds from Michel before recognizing the potential legal repercussions.

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