FILE - In this April 12, 1997, file photo, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, part of the group the Fugees, sings on stage during a concert in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A lawyer for one of the founding members of the 1990s hip hop group the Fugees says his client is facing charges related to 2012 campaign contributions. Defense lawyer Barry Pollack said Friday, May 10, 2019, that Michel is innocent and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury.(AP Photo/Daniel Morel, File)

Ex-Fugees rapper charged in campaign finance case

May 10, 2019 - 4:00 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the founding members of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees has been charged in a campaign finance conspiracy that took place during the 2012 election.

The Justice Department announced the charges Friday against Prakazrel "Pras" Michel (pruh-KAZ'-rehl "prahs" mee-SHEHL'). A lawyer for Michel, Barry Pollack, says his client is innocent and looks forward to having the case heard by a jury.

Michel faces a separate civil forfeiture complaint accusing him in a scheme to try to get the department to drop an investigation into embezzlement from a Malaysian investment fund. Michel has denied wrongdoing.

The embezzlement from the fund, known as 1MDB, became a political scandal in Malaysia. Looted money paid for jewelry and luxury art and helped finance "The Wolf of Wall Street" and other films.

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