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Hip-hop's Mally Mall pleads guilty in prostitution case

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hip-hop music figure Jamal "Mally Mall" Rashid pleaded guilty Monday to operating a prostitution enterprise disguised as escort businesses, federal prosecutors and his defense attorneys said.

Rashid, 44, faces prison time of at least one month, and up to 33 months when he is sentenced Jan. 21. His plea resolved a criminal case that became public following an FBI raid at his Las Vegas home in September 2014, U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich and defense attorney David Chesnoff said.

Rashid won't have to register as a sex offender, both sides said. He pleaded guilty to one charge of using an interstate facility to aid unlawful activity, Trutanich said in a statement. Rashid admitted that for more than a decade he operated escort businesses that "induced and enticed numerous women to engage in prostitution," Trutanich said.

In some instances, prosecutors said Rashid's credit card was used to pay airfare and other travel-related expenses for women he featured in advertisements for prostitution on paid websites such as Backpage and Eros.

"We think this is a just resolution," said Chesnoff, speaking for his client and Atlanta-based attorney Steven Sadow. "We're pleased this matter has been resolved, as the allegations date back many, many years."

A California Bay Area native, Mall has worked with a variety of artists including Tyga, Justin Bieber, Usher and Sean Kingston. His 2013 collaboration with Tyga, "Molly," reached No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mall also was featured in the VH1 reality TV series "Love and Hip Hop Hollywood."

At the same time the FBI served warrants at his million-plus-dollar home southeast of the Las Vegas Strip, agents raided his business, Las Vegas Concierge VS1, just off the 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).

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