Lev Parnas was found guilty of funneling Russian money to election candidates in return for favors in setting up a marijuana business. The Giuliani aide along with his business partner, Igor Fruman was in the close circle of disgraced president Donald Trump when they were arrested near Washington while boarding with one way ticket to Frankfurt.
The Russian-born Lev Parnas and Fruman were accused of funneling a tycoon’s money into political campaigns. But further connections to the impeachment of Trump have emerged since.
Lev Parnas has acknowledged being part of an effort by Giuliani to exert his influence on officials from Ukraine to initiate investigation against a then-Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden.
Lev Parnas’s growing profile was matched by the growing charges of financing campaigns with Russian money. He and an associate, Andrey Kukushkin was convicted by a Manhattan federal District Court on all counts.
Lev Parnas And His Associates Found Guilty Of Manipulating The Political System
Fruman and David Correia, a fourth defendant have already pleaded guilty. US attorney Damian Williams has said that Kukushkin and Lev Parnas had been guilty of conspiring to manipulate the political system in the country during the elections to enrich themselves.
Williams further said that laws governing campaign finance were designed to ensure fair and free elections, without the threat of outside influence and interests. He said that it was essential to protect the freedom ensured by the laws are safeguarded.
Parnas’ lawyer, Joseph Bondy said that the former planned to appeal to have the conviction removed. Parnas thanked people who supported him and said that he had always stood up for the truth.
Prosecutors outlined a double scheme by Lev Parnas. He had hidden campaign donations made with Russian money to influence candidates while they were tied to a cannabis business with the Russian financier, Andrey Muraviev.
One of the Prosecutors, Hagan Scotten said that the voters were in the dark of the money that poured into the election. The charges against Lev Parnas and his associate were based on extensive documents including bank records, contribution receipts, and Whatsapp messages.
Donald Trump had denied knowing Lev Parnas though the latter had provided material to the House Intelligence Committee showing him in conversation with the former President.