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USA. Leonardo DiCaprio testified about money laundering. The Jho Low case

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Actor Leonardo DiCaprio testified Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C., as part of an international money laundering and bribery trial involving famous rapper Pras Michel, the Associated Press reported.

American rapper Pras Michel, a member of the cult hip-hop group The Fugees, is accused of funneling money from fugitive Malaysian financier Jho Low to Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign.

Five years later, prosecutors said he tried to hush up the investigation of the same financier under the former US president’s administration Donald Trump.

Prosecutors say Pras Michel received more than $21.6 million to fund the 2012 presidential election. Michel would then hand over the money to 20 phony people who would then make donations in their name to Barack Obama’s election campaign.

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DiCaprio’s ties to a Malaysian financier

Malaysian financier Jho Low is accused of leading an international money laundering and bribery group, as well as stealing a substantial amount of cash from a Malaysian sovereign investment fund.

Leonardo DiCaprio testified in federal court on Monday in connection with his long-time acquaintance with Low, one of the main donors of the movie “Wolf of Wall Street”. Low is currently on the run from law enforcement.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill in The Wolf of WallStreetMonolith Films

DiCaprio testified that he befriended Low at a birthday party in Las Vegas in 2010. “I met him as a big businessman with many connections in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia,” the actor testified.

The star mentioned that the Malaysian financier was known for organizing lavish parties with famous people and organizing group trips to events, including world championship in Brazil in football.

The actor mentioned that during one of the parties the participants celebrated New Year’s Eve in Australiaand then flew to Las Vegas to celebrate New Year’s Day for the second time on the same day. Michel was supposed to be present on some of these trips, DiCaprio testified.

In addition to his relationship with Low, DiCaprio said he met the accused Pras Michel in person in the 1990s, when they met backstage at one of The Fugees’ concerts.

Leonardo DiCapriotaniavolobueva / Shutterstock.com

DiCaprio: Low was a legitimate businessman

Low regularly supported DiCaprio’s charitable foundation and offered the actor funding for The Wolf of Wall Street. The star said that he thoroughly checked the financing and legality of Low’s activities before entering into a business relationship.

“I got the green light from both my team and my studio,” DiCaprio said. “He was a legitimate businessman who wanted to invest in a movie,” he added.

DiCaprio also recalled a “loose conversation” with Low in which the Malaysian financier told him he intended to make a major contribution to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. “It was a significant sum, about $20-30 million,” he testified. “I said it’s a lot of money,” he said.

Michel encouraged donations to Obama’s campaign

After DiCaprio, many witnesses testified that Pras Michel encouraged them to contribute financially to Barack Obama’s campaign. Investment banker Richard Kromica testified that Michel told him he had exceeded his legal contribution limit and asked him that he and his husband Joseph donate on his behalf. Kromica said Michel sent the couple $80,000 for the donation.

In other cases, Michel’s friends were offered invitations to campaign fundraising dinners, explaining to them that their presence would be “sponsored” by Michel and his associates.

Jack Brewer testified that Michel wired him $32,000 to cover the cost of attending one such fundraiser – the former NFL player didn’t like the deal and sent the money back. “I thought it was funny,” Brewer testified. “You’re just sending me money and it’s not a loan, and I’m supposed to donate it to the campaign?” It’s suspicious,” he added.

Main photo source: taniavolobueva / Shutterstock.com

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