In his guilty plea, Mr. Higginbotham admitted that he and the entertainer and businessman Pras Michel, a former member of the Fugees, a defunct hip-hop group, arranged for millions of dollars of Mr. Low’s money to be transferred to a law firm owned by Mr. Broidy’s wife to pay them to try to end the 1MDB investigation.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Michel received $8.5 million from Mr. Low, while Mr. Broidy was paid $6 million and Ms. Davis $1.7 million, but that they tried to “conceal Broidy’s contacts with and payments from” Mr. Low “to maintain Broidy’s credibility with United States officials and to further the illegal advocacy scheme.”
The prosecutors cited a contract with Mr. Broidy’s wife’s law firm, which is not named, agreeing that if the Justice Department dropped its civil forfeiture proceedings against Mr. Low within 180 days, he would pay a $75 million fee, or $50 million if the matter was resolved within 365 days.
As part of the effort, prosecutors say Mr. Broidy asked Mr. Trump in June 2017 if he would play golf with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. Mr. Najib is not identified in the charging document, but he was in office at the time and was planning a trip to Washington, despite being under investigation by federal prosecutors for his role in the 1MDB theft.
Mr. Broidy and Ms. Davis believed that a golf game with Mr. Trump “would please” Mr. Najib and allow him “to attempt to resolve the matter” of the 1MDB investigation, the filing said.
Mr. Najib did meet with Mr. Trump in September 2017, but he was denied the customary photograph in the Oval Office with the president, let alone the golf outing, despite Mr. Broidy’s repeated lobbying of Mr. Trump’s aides. Mr. Najib was later convicted in Malaysia of corruption charges related to the 1MDB theft.
In October 2017, the court filing said, Mr. Broidy met at the White House with Mr. Trump but did not raise the issue of 1MDB. Nonetheless, the filing said, Mr. Broidy told Ms. Davis that he had raised it, believing she would pass that misinformation to Mr. Low and Mr. Michel.