Rudy Giuliani’s former associate Lev Parnas was convicted on six counts related to “influence buying” campaign finance schemes. A jury found Parnas guilty of scheming with co-conspirators to use a Russian backer’s money to fund political contributions they hoped to trade for political favor for their budding joint cannabis venture.
The Ukrainian businessman was also convicted for using money from Igor Fruman – who previously pleaded guilty — and a fake company to funnel hundreds of thousands in political contributions to GOP and pro-Donald Trump committees and then lying about it to the Federal Election Commission.
A $325,000 donation to the America First Action Super PAC at issue in the case was first flagged in a 2018 FEC complaint.
The New York Times reports:
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.
Mr. Parnas had been an ardent supporter of Mr. Trump’s, sometimes showing up at rallies in a “Make America Great Again” hat. While working with Mr. Giuliani in 2018 and 2019, Mr. Parnas traveled to Kyiv to press officials there to investigate Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.
BREAKING: Lev Parnas, Ex-Giuliani Ally, Is Convicted of Campaign Finance Charges https://t.co/BqIiIpP4sq
— Benjamin Weiser (@BenWeiserNYT) October 22, 2021