Federal Judge Lev Parnas ruled Wednesday that Lev Parnas would spend 20 months in prison for campaign finance and wire fraud offenses. This was to close a criminal case against a Ukrainian American businessman, whose alleged involvement in Rudy Giuliani’s digging up dirt on President Joe Biden made him an important
Lev Parnas arrives in New York City at the federal court for an arraignment hearing.
Parnas was also ordered by Judge Paul Oetken to pay $2.3 million in restitution, and be subject to three years of supervised freedom, according the U.S. attorney’s office for Southern District of New York in a statement.
Parnas was sentenced last year for illegally funneling money from a Russian oligarch into multiple 2018 campaigns. This scheme, according to prosecutors, was intended to push politicians to grant licenses to a recreational cannabis business.
In March, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges. He siphoned off investors’ funds from a company that he co-founded in order to insure businesses against fraudulent acts (the company’s name was, coincidentally Fraud Guarantee).
Parnas’ lawyer requested Oetken to sentence him to time served. Parnas argued in a letter, that Parnas was “remorseful” for his conduct. But federal prosecutors asked for 78-97 months in prison. Parnas wrote in a memo that Parnas had “lied, swindled, and corrupted for himself and for the benefit of this country, his investors and the public.”
Many Parnas associates were already sentenced. David Corriea , pleaded guilty to his ties to Fraud Guarantee and was later sentenced. Igor Fruman and Andreykukushkin were also sentenced to one year in prison for their involvement in the campaign finance scheme. The charges against Andrey Muraviev, a Russian businessman, were announced in March. This was more than a year after his first indictment. Federal prosecutors believe he is still in Russia.
Parnas, Fruman were arrested in connection with the campaign finance scheme at Dulles International Airport in late 2019. The shocking arrest occurred before they could board a plane to Europe with one-way tickets. It happened as two previously obscure businessmen became involved in the scandal that led Trump’s first impeachment. Fruman and Parnas–two U.S. to oust the U.S. Later, Trump was accused of withholding aid for Ukraine to try to force President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce a corruption investigation into Biden. This led to Trump being impeached by the House and his acquittal in the Senate.
ForbesParnas’ lawyer Joseph Bondy said in a statement that his client’s sentencing hearing was “not a somber moment.” He added that Parnas legal team is proud of Lev’s courage and commitment to the First Impeachment Inquiry.
Giuliani’s apartment was searched by federal agents last January, as part of an additional probe into whether Giuliani illegally lobbied for Ukrainian oligarchs.
I was previously a reporter for local news in Boston. I graduated from Tufts.
… Continue reading
- Editorial Standards
- Permissions & Reprints