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Lev Parnas, Ex-Giuliani Ally, Is Convicted of Campaign Finance Charges
Posted by: hal
Date: October 22, 2021 02:19PM
[www.nytimes.com]

Lev Parnas and his business partner, Igor Fruman, were at Dulles International Airport near Washington two years ago, holding one-way tickets for a Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, when the F.B.I. caught up with them.

The two Soviet-born businessmen, who had climbed to prominent places in the orbit of President Donald J. Trump, were arrested before boarding the flight and charged with several campaign finance violations, including conspiring to funnel a Russian tycoon’s money into American politics.

In the years that followed, Mr. Parnas began to open up about his role in events connected to Mr. Trump’s first impeachment. He provided material to House investigators and acknowledged participating in an effort by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate at the time who subsequently beat Mr. Trump.

Still, the campaign finance charges loomed. Even as Mr. Fruman and a second man charged in the case, David Correia, pleaded guilty, Mr. Parnas and a fourth defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, maintained their innocence. Last week, the two men went to trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

On Friday, his activity as a political donor caught up with Mr. Parnas as a jury convicted him of all the charges against him. Mr. Kukushkin was also convicted.

That verdict came after about six hours of deliberations, following testimony from, among others, a onetime finance director of a super PAC supporting Mr. Trump; an ex-chief of staff to a former Republican congressman from Texas; and the 2018 Republican candidate for governor of Nevada.

Prosecutors outlined a two-part scheme, saying Mr. Parnas had lied to the Federal Election Commission about certain campaign donations he had made and that he and Mr. Kukushkin had tried to gain favor among candidates with contributions tied to the Russian tycoon, Andrey Muraviev, with whom they were involved in a cannabis business.

“The purpose behind this conspiracy was influence buying,” a prosecutor, Hagan Cordell Scotten said during closing arguments on Thursday, adding: “The voters would never know whose money was pouring into our elections.”

Throughout the trial, Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, presented his client as an enterprising businessman who was a longtime proponent of legalizing marijuana and who also wanted to lead a company that would bring natural gas from the United States to Europe to help prevent a Russian “stranglehold” on energy.
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Re: Lev Parnas, Ex-Giuliani Ally, Is Convicted of Campaign Finance Charges
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: October 22, 2021 03:55PM
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Re: Lev Parnas, Ex-Giuliani Ally, Is Convicted of Campaign Finance Charges
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: October 22, 2021 05:43PM
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