The Vogues rapper accused of multimillion-dollar political conspiracies over two presidencies was found guilty Wednesday after a trial that included testimony ranging from actor Leonardo DiCaprio to former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Bracazariel “Brass” Michel, the New Jersey-born musician who made his fortune as a member of The Fugees, is entangled in an intricate web woven by Malaysian Financier Goh Low. Low is still on the run, and is believed to be living in it China.
Michel, who styled himself as a political activist and link to influential individuals after the dissolution of Fuji, pleaded not guilty to several counts of conspiracy and witness tampering and failed to register as an agent of China.
On Wednesday, a Washington, D.C., jury indicted him on all counts, including conspiracy and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
Brass Michel is seen arriving in court for his trial. On Wednesday, a Washington jury found him guilty of charges that include conspiracy and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
The defense argued that the Grammy-winning rapper simply wanted to make money and got bad legal advice as he reinvented himself in politics.
Michel declined to comment after the ruling, but his attorney said he was “extremely disappointed” with the outcome of the case and plans to appeal.
“This is not over,” said attorney David Keener.
I am still very confident that we will prevail in the end.
Michelle is accused of taking millions of dollars from Low to help him form political connections and influence people. Michel says he was seeking funds for his own projects, and thought he was helping the United States.
One of Michelle’s “tasks” was, on Lu’s orders, to persuade the US government to hand over to Chinese authorities a New York-based Chinese billionaire, Miles Gu. Guo is an ally of Steve Bannon and has now been arrested by the US authorities.
Brass Michel was seen earlier this month near the Washington, D.C. courthouse where he is on trial
Michel, 50, was dapper in his sharply tailored suit, red tie and pink stockings.
The rapper’s trial concluded on Wednesday with his guilty verdict
Lu wanted Guo to be delivered to Beijing as a favor to the Chinese leaders, as a form of insurance as U.S. prosecutors began investigating Lu’s private dealings.
Michelle became entangled in the chaos.
The 50-year-old is accused of accepting $100 million from Low, and using his money to try to influence the administrations of President Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Low is accused of masterminding one of the largest financial frauds in history.
Michelle first met the Malaysian financier in 2006, when Lou was dropping huge amounts of money and hanging out with the likes of Paris Hilton. Law helped finance Hollywood films, including “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Its co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio, testified on April 3 that Law appeared to him as a legitimate businessman and stated he wanted to donate to the Obama campaign.
Michel also testified in his own defence.
He said if he wanted a picture with Obama in 2012 he was willing to pay millions of dollars to get it. Michel agreed to help out and used some of the money he earned to pay his friends to attend fundraising events. He said no one told him it was illegal.
Prosecutors said Michel donated money on Low’s behalf, and later tried to draw straw donors with texts from cell phones to prevent them from talking to investigators.
After Donald Trump was elected, prosecutors said Michel took millions again to stop investigating allegations that Low masterminded a money laundering and bribery scheme that stole billions from the Malaysian state investment fund known as 1MDB.
a little He is accused of diverting the Malaysian government’s sluggish fund budget into his personal cash piggy bank, selling bogus bonds through Goldman Sachs, and using the money to fund a celebrity-filled lifestyle.
Lu, 41, was believed to be hiding in China, so Michel was prosecuted alone for his involvement in the scam.
Michelle said Rolling Stone He first met Lou at a New York City nightclub in 2006.
Prosecutors allege that Michel was involved in a two-part scheme orchestrated by Low, and was indicted in 2019, according to court documents.
The first included a fundraising event for Obama during his 2012 presidential campaign.
Michel allegedly compensated guests for a $40,000 per person fundraising dinner in an effort to curry favor with the president’s administration, then threatened them to ensure they did not reveal the source of their money, according to NPR.
Michel allegedly funneled a total of $1 million in Low funds to the Obama campaign, and did so through 20 donors to avoid detection. This money allegedly came directly from the low cash stolen from the Malaysian government.
The second plot involved Michelle helping lobbyists in the Trump administration attempt to end an investigation into Law’s business dealings.
Brass Michel faces decades in prison upon sentencing
Jho Low is accused of carrying out one of the biggest financial frauds in history
“The defendant, Bracazzril (Brass) Michel, received more than $100 million from Jho Low, a foreign fugitive responsible for one of the largest embezzlement schemes in history,” prosecutors wrote in court filings.
“For using back-channel influence to persuade the then President of the United States to abandon a federal investigation of Low and to agree to the extrajudicial removal of a Chinese exile living in the United States.”
It is also believed that Michel met with a Chinese government official at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City to organize their efforts in 2017.
Chinese officials wanted the Chinese financial fraudster Guo — who was then residing in the United States — extradited to Beijing.
Guo has been known to have developed a close relationship with Trump’s White House advisor, Steve Bannon.
In March, Guo was arrested by the FBI for defrauding people out of about $1 billion in an online scheme. His New York City loft apartment mysteriously caught fire hours after his arrest while agents were searching it.
Jho Low with Leonardo DiCaprio at the premiere of The Wolf of Wall Street in 2013
Michelle is accused of trying to influence Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon, along with the Barack Obama administration.
Court filings indicated that Michel plans to plead that he only followed the advice of his attorney, and that everything he did was believed to be in the best interest of the US government when he met with Chinese officials.
“The defendant continues to deny that he was acting as an agent of China and denies that he willfully and knowingly acted as a covert agent under the direction and control of China when he approached the FBI,” the defense attorneys wrote.
According to NPR, several people involved in Michelle’s alleged schemes have either pleaded guilty or received immunity from the government as part of the investigation.
Michel was allegedly paid between $8 and $40 million for his role in helping Low in the scheme.
Brass Michel gained fame in the 1990s with his hip hop band, The Fugees
Lou and Michelle met at a nightclub in New York City in 2006. Lou is believed to be hiding in China