Actor Leonardo DiCaprio testified on Monday in a federal trial that’s attempting to solve the details of an alleged money-funneling scheme that involved a 90s rap artist and Malaysian financier.
Jho Low, a Malaysian financier, allegedly wanted to funnel $20-30 million through the rap artist to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
How does the Hollywood actor fit into this equation?
According to the New York Post, the fugitive businessman once shared his intentions of making a huge contribution to Obama’s campaign in a conversation with DiCaprio while the two partied together.
“It was a significant sum — something to the tune of $20-30 million,” DiCaprio testified.
“I said, ‘Wow that’s a lot of money!’”
The significant sum of money, which was reportedly mostly stolen, had alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party.
BREAKING: Leonardo DiCaprio testifies that a CCP-linked Malaysian financier, now a fugitive, sent $30 million to Obama during 2012 campaignhttps://t.co/nsReVf7n6U
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 5, 2023
The New York Post explained:
Low allegedly recruited Prakazrel “Pras” Michel – the founding member of the iconic 1990s hip-hop group The Fugees – to funnel the money to Obama’s reelection bid as foreigners cannot donate to US campaigns under federal election law.
Michel took tens of millions of dollars to lobby the government on behalf of Low and the Chinese government as a whole, prosecutors alleged.
Much of the money was reportedly stolen. Low is accused of embezzling a whopping $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s state investment fund known as 1MDB.
DiCaprio, 48, was called as a witness due to his years-long relationship with Low, who he believed to be “a huge businessman” with connections in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia, he said. Low helped fund his 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” for which the star won a Golden Globe for best actor.
Low, who also donated to the “Titanic” star’s charity, was known among Hollywood A-listers for throwing lavish parties and inviting people on expensive vacations via his private jet.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio told a Washington jury on Monday that Malaysian financier Jho Low donated up to $30 million to help U.S. President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. pic.twitter.com/bwwvZUfq4r
— Doni 🤓🏴🏴☠️ (@DoniTheDon_) April 5, 2023
The Post Millennial added:
Prosecutors have claimed that Michel received over $20 million from foreign accounts, which were then passed off to 20 “straw donors from June to November 2012,” according to The Post. These donors were believed to have made the contributions to the Obama campaign in their names so that money could not be tracked back to Low.
According to Utusan Malaysia, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, has confirmed that the fugitive financier is currently hiding in Macau. The IGP also revealed that Jho Low and his family members have been seen moving freely in Hong Kong, and that the Chinese government is believed to be providing protection to them. Despite ongoing efforts to bring Jho Low back to Malaysia, there has been no positive response from the republic thus far. Jho Low had previously been located in Thailand before he entered Macau, and reportedly fled to a neighboring state after the announcement of the results of the 14th general election.
Michel was apparently paid $70 million for his assistance to Low. As a result, the Fugees artist is now facing 11 criminal counts of attempting to influence the Obama and Trump administrations, per the report. Prosecutors have also noted that the artist is being accused of attempting to interfere with Trump’s investigation into Low.