WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) – Actor Leonardo DiCaprio told a Washington jury on Monday that Malaysian financial adviser Jho Low revealed he contributed up to $30 million to help President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign in what prosecutors allege was part of an illegal immigration scheme. operation of grace
“There was a casual conversation about which party he was supporting,” DiCaprio told jurors. High said he was considering a “significant donation” to the Democratic Party that was “somewhere to the tune of $20-30 million.”
“I basically said, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of money,'” DiCaprio added.
The “Titanic” star testified in the trial of Prakazrel “Pras” Michels of the Fugees hip-hop group, who faces criminal charges over his face. parties in the foreign power campaign alleged the Obama and Donald Trump administrations have requested. Michel denied the allegations.
DiCaprio is one of several prominent figures linked to Low, a fugitive who faces separate federal criminal charges for embezzling $4.5 billion in cash from Malaysia’s 1MDB.
The financier, who was known to pay Hollywood celebrities to party with him, supported DiCaprio’s charity foundation and helped fund the 2013 “Whoop of Wall Street” in which DiCaprio starred and was nominated for an Oscar.
The Department of Justice in 2018 reached a civil settlement with a film company that was believed to have stolen $60 million in damages from 1MDB.
Since then, DiCaprio has been cooperating with the US government.
He took care to enter on Monday without being spotted by the naval messengers who would announce his arrival.
Prosecutors said Michel agreed to funnel money from Low into the 2012 Obama campaign and to hide the source of the money. Federal election law prohibits foreigners from donating to US campaigns.
They say he later worked behind the scenes with others to convince the Trump administration to stop investigating Low, and even convinced China’s foreign minister to get the administration to agree to repatriate dissident Guo Wengui.
DiCaprio told jurors on Monday that he had known Michel since at least the 1990s, when he discovered the Fugees scene.
The bulk of his evidence revolves around his relationship with Low, who drove luxury yachts and nightclubs that hosted Hollywood stars.
DiCaprio said he flew in a private Belgian plane with a large group for New Year’s Eve between Australia and Las Vegas, in what he said was a plan to celebrate New Year’s twice in one night.
He drew laughter in the courtroom, as attorney Michel asked him if he had achieved his goal.
“It depends on how you look at it,” DiCaprio said.
DiCaprio said that when he first met Low around 2010, he viewed him as “some kind of prodigy in the business world.”
DiCaprio said his legal team, outside firms and three separate studios are conducting due diligence before reaching a deal with Low to finance “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
“The green light has been given by the team, and the interested parties receive funding from Mr. Low,” he said.
Report by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional report by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Andy Sullivan, Jonathan Oatis and Josie Kao
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