According to several confirmed reports, the first attempt to have the federal conspiracy conviction overturned for Pras of The Fugees was denied in federal court on Friday(April 12) by a judge who has presided over cases involving Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush and Microsoft.


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Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied the motion, saying there was more than sufficient evidence to convict Pras, whose real name is Prakazrel Michel, of the charges on the first go-round, and therefore, there was no reason to dismiss the conviction.

“After a five-week trial, a jury convicted Michel of ten counts,” the judge wrote in her memorandum. “The Court has thoroughly reviewed the extensive evidence presented at trial and finds the evidence sufficient to withstand a motion for judgment of acquittal under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29. Accordingly, Michel’s [309] Motion for Judgment of Acquittal is DENIED.”

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Back in January, Pras’ former attorney David Kenner pleaded guilty to leaking confidential federal grand jury files to two reporters in 2023, which is in direct violation of federal rules. The United States District Court in Washington, DC found probable cause that the ex-attorney for Michel “committed misdemeanor contempt in violation of 18 USC 401 (c)” by leaking files.

Pras was convicted of money laundering and illegitimate lobbying tactics. Just a few months later, he began working toward bringing his case back to life on grounds of his ex-attorney apparently messing up “the single most important portion” of his defense by using AI to put together a closing statement.

“Kenner’s closing argument made frivolous arguments, misapprehended the required elements, conflated the schemes and ignored critical weaknesses in the government’s case,” Pras’ new legal team stated in a brief. “The AI program failed Kenner, and Kenner failed [Pras] Michel. The closing argument was deficient, unhelpful and a missed opportunity that prejudiced the defense.”

David Kenner is the famed attorney who represented Death Row Records in the 90s and was able to secure an acquittal for Snoop Dogg’s murder trial back in 1993.