Jury selection in the trial of Grammy-winning musician Pras Michel kicks off Monday in the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., marking a pivotal moment in a case filled with allegations of political maneuvering and international intrigue.

Michel faces charges including conspiracy, witness tampering and failing to register as an agent of China, in a case that could send him to prison for decades if he’s convicted.

He came to worldwide attention in 1996, when his band Fugees released The Score, which remains one of the best-selling and most-streamed albums of all time.

But what landed Michel, 50, in the bustling federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., took place only after he tried to refashion himself as a businessman and political force in the U.S. and in Haiti, the homeland of his parents.