According to international media, Leonardo DiCaprio testified in the trial against rapper Pras Michel, a former member of The Fugees, who is accused of participating in a case of international money laundering and bribery.
The rapper, founder of the hip-hop group, is being accused of funneling money from a fugitive Malaysian funder through high-profile donors to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. In addition, according to prosecutors, Michel also tried to silence a investigation into that same person under the administration of Donald Trump.
The information relates that said financier corresponds to the name of Low Taek Jho and is the one who is being accused of being the mastermind of the international money laundering and bribery scam that he stole from the Malaysian state investment fund, known as 1MDB.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s presence on the stand is due to his long-standing relationship with Low, who, curiously, was one of the main financiers of the film The Wolf of Wall Street, and though Low has claimed his innocence, he is currently on the run.
It should be noted that Leo is not facing any charges, he only testified that he met and became friends with Low at a birthday party in Las Vegas in 2010. With all the calm in the world, the actor answered all the questions that were asked in the judgment.
In addition to his connection to Low, the Oscar winner said he had known the defendant, namely Michel, since the 1990s, after they met backstage after a concert by hip-hop group The Fugees.
In his remarks, DiCaprio recounted traveling to Australia to celebrate New Year’s Eve and then flying to Las Vegas to celebrate for the second time, all prompted by Low, who was known for throwing lavish celebrity-studded parties and group vacations at his private jet, in which Michel was present.
In addition to this, they also point out that Low was a regular contributor to Leonardo’s charitable foundation and even raised the idea of financing the film. The Wolf of Wall Streetto which DiCaprio assures that he had carefully investigated the legitimacy of the financing before entering into a business relationship.
My team and my studio gave me the green light. He was a legitimate business person who wanted to invest in the film.
However, the actor said he stopped speaking to Low in 2015, when his representatives discovered an article mentioning illegal financing from Malaysia and elsewhere.
Finally, a Leonardo DiCaprio spokesperson said the actor is cooperating with US prosecutors to return any funds he or his charities have received from 1MDB.