Fugees rapper Pras Michel challenged the federal seizure of $37.5 million in cash from his bank accounts at multiple banks around the U.S.
Pras was caught up in a multi-billion dollar money laundering scandal involving Kimora Lee’s husband, Tim Leissner, and Malaysian financier Jho Low.
Leissner, who is pictured above with Kimora and their son Wolfe, pleaded guilty in November to helping Jho Low launder billions of dollars looted from a Malaysian bank in 2016.
Pras, a Grammy Award-winning rapper, is challenging the federal seizure of $37.5 million as part of the Malaysian scandal.
Pras insists the $37.5 million is his, but the feds allege that the former Fugees star took the money from Low and deposited the cash in multiple banks across the United States.
“The property is not subject to forfeiture,” Michel claimed in a motion filed on Monday in Washington, D.C.
“The Complaint fails adequately to allege that the property is the proceeds of specified unlawful activity or was used to promote, conduct, or facilitate specified unlawful activity, and, in any event, Mr. Michel is an innocent owner of the property who did not know of the conduct or circumstances giving rise to forfeiture.”
The feds accused Pras of lying to the banks about the source of the funds.
“(T)he true source and purpose of the funds were not disclosed to the banks and were actively concealed from them,” the complaint reads.
“Michel then disbursed Jho Low’s funds to various individuals and entities to facilitate a lobbying campaign to represent the interests of various foreign nationals and entities, including Jho Low, in the United States.”
Pras is among a handful of A-list American celebrities who received cash or goods from Jho Low.
Other celebrities who were forced to surrender cash and goods to the U.S. Justice Dept. include Kim Kardashian, who was gifted a $325,000 white Ferrari from Low in 2011.
Actor Leo DiCaprio surrendered pricey paintings to the federal government, including a Picasso and an original Jean-Michel Basquiat painting worth millions.
Leissner, who once worked for Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia division, also forfeited $43.7 million in cash. He is banned for life from entering Malaysia.
Leissner is currently awaiting sentencing. He faces 10 years in prison.
Low has refused to surrender to Malaysian authorities after an arrest warrant was issued last year.
Kimora distanced herself from her husband’s business dealings.
“I fund my own business,” said Kimora in an interview with the NY Post.
“I’ve been in the fashion industry since [age] 12, modeling and all that. So all my money, not that I want to say it that way, this is my third marriage that I’m on so, no, my husband has nothing to do with my professional life.”
A total of $4.5 billion was looted from the Malaysian bank.
Photos by Gino / BACKGRID, Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images