Rudy Giuliani Associate trial reveals secret donor methods and networks


Lev Parnas, a former business partner of Rudy Giuliani, was recently convicted of campaign funding crimes. His case and others revealed how secret funders – including foreign nationals – can hide their identities from the American public while being exposed through straw donors, mailbox companies and “dark money. “

A jury on October 22nd found Parnas guilty of six charges related to the illegal infiltration of foreign funds into the US elections. His co-defendant, Ukraine-born California cannabis investor Andrey Kukushkin, was found guilty of two counts in connection with a conspiracy to channel money from a foreigner into the US election.

Parnas could face up to 45 years in prison for the six counts, but his conviction was up postponed a second proceeding is pending in connection with its alleged scheme to defraud investors of more than $ 2 million invested in its shell company Fraud Guarantee. Giuliani authorized works on the mailbox company in exchange for $ 500,000 in 2019. Parnas is also facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Igor Fruman, Parnas’ business partner, who was born in the Soviet Union calculated together with Parnas, Kukushkin and their US partner David Correia in the illegal foreign straw donation program.

Fruman pleaded guilty of demanding money from a foreigner in September and awaiting conviction. In February it was Correia sentenced to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to the conspiracy and providing false information.

The program directed more than $ 690,000 to Republican campaigns and political groups and reached candidates at the federal and state levels during the 2018 election cycle.

Parnas was convicted of steering charges $ 325,000 donation of Russian citizenship Andrei Muraviev to the Pro-Trump Super PAC America first action in 2018 under the name of another mailbox company, Global Energy Producers.

While it is less clear what influence Parnas and others gained through their contributions, the access granted is well documented.

Text messages admitted as evidence during the trial indicate that America First Action’s finance director encouraged Parnas to make large contributions to the pro-Trump super-PAC in order for Parnas to gain access to the events.

The super PAC hosted several events that took place at large donors were there from the former president Donald Trump himself, including one in which Parnas’ photo was taken with Trump.

At the federal level, 35. Inc., a super PAC with a single candidate supporting the former congressional candidate Patrick Morrisey (RW.Va.) received $ 15,000 from Global Energy Producers in 2018.

Parnas and his staff also donated $ 50,000 to the Florida government on behalf of Global Energy Producers. Ron DeSantis (R) in his 2018 gubernatorial race showing state campaign funding disclosures. The donation came just before DeSantis won the Republican primary and the day before Trump gave DeSantis a “full support”. DeSantis handed the money over to the federal government after Fruman and Parnas were arrested. DeSantis authorized at the time when he knew Parnas, but Fruman, “not so much”.

Prosecutors said Parnas lied to the federal election commission about the source of the 2018 donation because the company was actually not profitable or functioning as a real business.

The jury determined that the donation actually came through a mortgage refinancing loan from Fruman.

A common thread among the candidates that Parnas and Fruman drew attention to during the 2018 cycle is that they ran in states that could have been advantageous for their offspring Marijuana business.

Wesley Duncan – a 2018 Republican candidate for attorney general in Nevada – testified that his campaign returned a $ 10,000 donation from Parnas once they found it was illegal. Duncan also claimed he once declined an invitation from Parnas to fly to an event on a private jet.

Other major contributions include $ 100,000 for Protect the house and $ 100,000 to House majority trust, joint fundraising committees for the benefit of the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congress Committee.

While the Parnas case ended in conviction, other trials in similar cases are only just beginning.

On October 19, a grand jury indicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) With knowingly false statements to FBI agents about whether he knew his campaign had received illegal donations from Lebanese-Nigerian billionaires Gilbert Chagoury at a fundraiser in 2016.

In April, the Justice Department unsealed documents showing that Chagoury agreed to pay the US government $ 1.8 million to clear up allegations in a straw donation program that channels illegal foreign donations to US campaigns.

Fortenberry is the only politician charged in this case. He is accused of withholding information and providing false information to federal investigators.

The other candidates whose campaigns received illegal foreign funds from straw donors who controlled funds from Chagoury were not charged.

The charges follow several other campaign finance scandals.

The DOJ announced fees Against Republican activists Jesse Benton and Doug Wead in September for allegedly channeling money from a Russian citizen to the Trump Campaign Joint Fundraising Committee in a straw donation program.

On October 12th, the FEC unsealed a signed arbitration agreement in which the pro-Trump Great America PAC agreed to pay a $ 25,000 fine after Benton allegedly solicited $ 2 million in 2016 from Telegraph journalists impersonating a Chinese citizen.

In one shot published by The Telegraph, Benton overheard how a foreigner could pass on a $ 2 million contribution to the PAC through mailbox companies and 501 (c) (4) charitable dark money groups.

The FEC accused Benton of knowingly soliciting illegal funds from a foreigner, but Benton declined to participate in the FEC’s investigation and chose not to enter into arbitration because due process Subjects. The FEC, after all stuck whether the matter should be pursued further.

In December 2020 it was Benton pardoned from Trump to indictments related to Hide bribes in an independent election campaign funding 2012 scandal. Benton is said to have paid a seller at the time, who then paid a subvendor, something against them The ultimate supplier disclosure rules for FEC.

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