Pras Michel Of The Fugees Wants A Retrial In His $100 Million Fraud Case, Says His Attorney Wrote Closing Argument With A.I.

By on November 3, 2023 in ArticlesCelebrity News

Back in April, Pras Michel of the Fugees was found guilty of participating in the sprawling 1MDB scheme and, among other allegations, defrauding the United States government. Now Michel is seeking a new trial, claiming his representation was incompetent and even used an experimental A.I. text generating program to craft his closing argument.

Michel's legal team reportedly filed a motion for a new trial and named former defense counsel David Kenner (who has also counted Snoop Dogg among his famous clients), calling him "ineffective" and alleging his botched defense "severely prejudiced the defense" and led to Michel's conviction. The motion goes on:

"Kenner used an experimental AI program to write his closing argument, which made frivolous arguments, conflated the schemes and failed to highlight key weaknesses in the Government's case."

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Incredibly, the motion also cites a public press release from EyeLevel.AI, the program Michel's attorney allegedly used to make his closing argument, touting Michel's case as "the first use of generative AI in a federal trial." The fact that he lost the case is not mentioned in the press release. Kenner himself is quoted in the press release, calling the technology a "game changer for complex litigation."

The motion also blames faulty AI for some basic errors the attorney committed during the trial, including misattributing lyrics in songs by Diddy and Michel as a solo artist to the Fugees group.

Michel was found guilty on 10 criminal counts stemming from his associations with Malaysian businessman Jho Low and a $100 million extortion scheme. Low was one of the financial backers of the 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street," which was loosely based on the life and crimes of Jordan Belfort. As a result, "Wolf" star Leonardo DiCaprio was called to testify in Michel's trial. Back in April, when the guilty verdicts were announced, it was reported that he could face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, with a sentencing hearing yet to be scheduled.

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