LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hip-hop music figure Jamal “Mally Mall” Rashid was sentenced Thursday in Las Vegas to 33 months in federal prison for owning and operating a prostitution business disguised as an escort enterprise, federal prosecutors and his defense attorneys said.
Rashid, 45, sought leniency from U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro with an apology “to the court, the government and, most importantly, the women involved,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He told the judge he quit criminal activity in 2014.
But for 12 years before that, “Rashid operated a high-end prostitution business that transported victims across the United States, using various paid websites ... to advertise the victims for prostitution purposes,” U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou said in a statement.
“Rashid exploited hundreds of victims” through manipulation, rules and threats, the top federal prosecutor in Nevada said, “encouraged victims to get tattoos of him to demonstrate their loyalty, and led many of them to believe he would advance their careers in show business.”
Rashid’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said he “accepted full responsibility for his conduct that occurred almost a decade ago.”
“He will serve his sentence and looks forward to returning to the music industry,” the attorneys said in a statement.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Rashid worked with artists including Tyga, Justin Bieber, Usher and Sean Kingston. His 2013 collaboration with Tyga, “Molly,” reached No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was featured as Mally Mall in the VH1 reality TV series “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood.”
He pleaded guilty in October 2019 to using an interstate facility to aid unlawful activity, and faced prison time of at least one month but up to 33 months in a plea agreement that did not require him to register as a sex offender.
His criminal case became public following a September 2014 FBI raid at his southeast Las Vegas mansion, ringed by security gates, cameras and walls, and a business he owned called Las Vegas Concierge VS1 near the Las Vegas Strip.
A little more than two years later, in May 2016, a fire damaged the home and left an exotic pet wildcat called a caracal dead. The species is native to Africa, the Middle East and India, and can grow to about 40 pounds (18 kilograms).
Chesnoff asked Navarro on Thursday to impose a two-year sentence and said Rashid worked as part of his rehabilitation helping the homeless and teenagers in crisis, the Review-Journal reported.
Navarro told Rashid to stop working with vulnerable teenagers. In addition to the maximum, she said he'll serve three years of supervision after prison.
“I hope you get this message,” the judge said according to the newspaper. “You’ve just been really lucky. You will spend the rest of your life in prison if you do this again.”
Rashid has until Aug. 13 to surrender for prison, the Review-Journal said.
Ken Ritter, The Associated Press