On Monday, Leonardo DiCaprio testified for the prosecution in the case that is being brought against the rapper Pras Michel in Washington, District of Columbia.
Prakazrel ‘Pras’ Michel, a founding member of The Fugees, is accused of facilitating the transfer of funds from fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low, also known as Low Taek Jho, to the re-election campaign of former President Barack Obama in 2012. He rejects a whole litany of accusations, including conspiring with others and interfering with witnesses.
DiCaprio spoke in court regarding his link to Low, who is accused of leading a plan to launder money and pay bribes that stole billions of dollars from the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB. DiCaprio went in court to testify regarding his connection to Low. He counted Low as a main backer for his movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which was released in 2013.
The actor who won an Academy Award disclosed that he had known Michel since the 1990s, having met him backstage after a Fugees concert, and that he had made friends with Low during a party in Las Vegas in 2010.
According to The Associated Press, Leonardo DiCaprio remarked, “I believed him to be a huge businessman with many different ties in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia.” DiCaprio was quoted as saying this.
After that, Low became a consistent supporter to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and proposed that the foundation provide funds for the movie. The businessman, who is 48 years old, stated that he and his staff conducted exhaustive checks to determine Low’s genuineness before participating in any kind of transaction with him.
He remarked, “Both my team and my studio have given me the go-ahead to move forward with this.” He was a genuine businessperson who was interested in making an investment in the film.
In addition, the actor who played Jack Dawson in Titanic recounted a “casual conversation” he had with Low about the money Low intended to donate to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
DiCaprio recalled that the amount was “something in the neighbourhood of $20-30 million,” describing it as “a huge figure.” I exclaimed, “Wow, that’s a lot of money!” when I saw the amount.
According to the accusations made by the prosecutors, Michel acted as a conduit between Low’s stolen millions and his efforts to exert influence over the government of the United States.
It is alleged that between June and November of 2012, Low deposited over $21.6 million (about £15.7 million) to Michel’s accounts. These accounts were then used to funnel money into the election campaign. It is said that Michel bribed approximately 20 people to act as donors so that he could conceal the true source of the money.