The Fugees Reportedly Canceled Reunion Tour Due to Pras Michel's Federal Money Laundering Charges

·2 min read
Image via Getty/Johnny Nunez
Image via Getty/Johnny Nunez

The Fugees canceled their 25th anniversary tour of The Score earlier this year, and now it’s been reported federal charges against Pras Michel was the cause.

The group was initially set to kick off their tour last year before it was pushed to early 2022, but it was canceled by the band in a statement shared in January that cited COVID-19 concerns. Puck reports that Michel’s federal charges of conspiracy and falsifying records was the real reason the 12-date tour was canceled, as the Justice Department refused to allow the rapper to play an international tour due to his pending federal trial in November.

In 2019, Michel pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, which stemmed from his alleged connection to Malaysian financier Jho Low and his wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). The rapper was among an extensive list of people the Justice Department alleged were tied to 1MDB and Low, who allegedly stole $4.5 billion. Michel, meanwhile, allegedly transferred a significant amount of funds from Low into the Barack Obama 2012 presidential campaign.

More recently, Michel was hit with further charges in June 2021 after he allegedly engaged in a back channel campaign to get the Trump administration to drop its investigation into 1MDB and Low. Despite the federal charges hanging over him, the group still announced the tour in September 2021. They later played a comeback show at at an event in New York that same month. Alongside a slew of North American dates, the group was set to perform in London and Paris.

Michel will go on trial in September, so long as there are no more delays. He was recently offered a plea deal, which he rejected, that would have seen him plead guilty for a 16-month prison sentence and financial retribution to Malaysia. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Complex has reached out for a comment from The Fugees’ representatives.

“Dates for our upcoming Fugees 25th Anniversary Tour are moving to early 2022 to ensure the best chance that all cities on the tour will be fully open so we can perform for as many fans as possible,” the group's cancelation announcement read. “With so much excitement around the reunion tour, we are also happy to announce that we will be adding more cities and dates! Full details coming soon along with some SPECIAL announcements!”

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