New York – A New York jury convicted a former associate of Rudy Giuliani on Friday for making illegal election donations to influence U.S. politicians and promote his business interests. ..
The ruling was returned to federal court in Manhattan, after prosecutors accused prosecutors of using someone else’s money to disguise themselves as powerful political brokers and make friends with some of the country’s star Republican politicians. I was tried for more than a week.
Part of the case alleged that Parnas and his associates made illegal donations to the Republican Political Commission through a joint venture in 2018. This includes a $ 325,000 donation to America First Action, a super PAC that supports former President Donald Trump.
Another part is the wealth of Russian financier Andrey Muraviev to donate to US politicians on the surface to support his efforts to launch a legitimate recreational marijuana business. He said he used it.
49-year-old Parnas was convicted in all respects.
A Soviet-born Florida businessman claimed through his lawyer that he never spent Russian money on political contributions. When the verdict was read, he closed his eyes for a moment and shook his head.
Ukrainian-born investor Andrey Kukushkin, a co-defendant, was convicted as part of an effort to use Muraviev’s funds for political contributions. He also denied any misconduct.
The case was of interest because Pernas and former co-defendant Igor Fulman were deeply involved in Giuliani’s efforts to force Ukrainian authorities to investigate Joe Biden’s son during the Biden presidential campaign.
Giuliani continues his criminal investigation as authorities determine whether registration as a foreign agent is required in dealings with Ukrainian authorities, but is not claimed to have been involved in illegal election donations and is in New York. I didn’t participate in the trial.
However, the incident took a closer look at how Parnas joined the Republican circle in 2018 and showed a pattern of campaign donations large enough to meet party stars.
“To influence American politicians and candidates, they illegally poured foreign currency into the 2018 midterm elections to make huge profits in the cannabis business,” said US Attorney Damian Williams. Said in a post-judgment statement. The law is designed to protect the integrity of free and fair elections without being disturbed by foreign interests and influences, and protecting these laws is the freedom that Americans keep sacred. Is essential to maintain. “
In addition to the $ 325,000 donation to America First Action made through an energy company, prosecutors said Parnas and Fulman coordinated donations to other committees supporting Pete Sessions and Republicans in Texas. Stated.
Giuliani and Trump were sparsely mentioned during the trial, but a photo featuring Parnas with Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis was one of the first exhibits presented to the jury during the final speech. Giuliani’s video with Parnas was in an exhibition that the jury could see under discussion.
DeSantis was one of those who received a campaign donation that prosecutors said Parnas and Fulman were tracked to $ 1 million received from Murabiev, who was involved in several US cannabis ventures.
Approximately $ 100,000 of Muraviev’s funds breach the law prohibiting foreign donations to U.S. political candidates, and the United States conspires to “secretly bring wealth and corruption into U.S. politics.” It was used to fund the elections called by Assistant Federal Attorney Hagan Scotten.
“Voters will never know who’s money is being spent on our elections,” Scotten said.
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laksal, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate, testified during the trial that the ferocious Parnas suggested that he could raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for him in 2018. Did. I refuse.
Parnas lawyer Joseph Bondi called his allegations against his client “ridiculous.”
He argued in closing arguments that Muraviev’s money was used to support a legitimate marijuana project that was about to expand.
Kukushkin’s lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, sought to portray his client as an ignorant man of plans who was ridiculed behind by other participants for being mentally challenged.
After the sentence, prosecutors demanded immediate imprisonment of Parnas and Kukushkin because of the danger of flight, but the judge allowed them to remain on bail while waiting for the sentence.
Fulman pleaded guilty to a single count of foreign donation solicitations earlier this year. He is waiting for a decision.
Another co-defendant, David Correia, was also found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison for deceiving an investor in an insurance company that paid Giuliani a $ 500,000 consulting fee.
Parnas is waiting for a second trial in connection with the plan.
Giuliani claimed to know nothing about potentially illegal election donations by either Parnas or Fulman. The former mayor says that everything he did in Ukraine was done on behalf of Trump, and there is no reason he had to register as a foreign agent.
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Giuliani’s companion convicted of election funding crime
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