Giuliani’s aide Lev Parnas faces trial on Tuesday


Parnas is facing charges related to two alleged campaign finance schemes. In an alleged scheme, prosecutors say that Parnas and another Giuliani accomplice, Igor Fruman – who has pleaded guilty – conspired to reduce campaign contribution limits in 2018 and falsely report contribution By hiding donations through a company to the Federal Election Commission, prosecutors say was a front for political behavior.

Jury member Parnas will also hear evidence on allegations by Fruman and business associate Andrey Kukushkin related to an alleged attempt by a Russian citizen to funnel $1 million into state and federal elections to benefit his future cannabis business venture.

The trial begins nearly two years before the day that Parnas and Fruman were arrested at a Washington-area airport as they were flying to Vienna. The arrests came amid an investigation by House Democrats — and the final impeachment trial — of then-President Donald Trump and launched two unidentified Florida businessmen with shaky track records on the global stage.

The jury in the criminal trial is not expected to take the lives of Parnas in Europe with Giuliani taking what they claimed to be damaging information about then-president-candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, but the former president and his lawyer. will not do. Be absent from either case. Prosecutors said in a recent court hearing that they intended to show the jury photos that Parnas wrote to Kukushkin of Parnas with Giuliani and Trump about his connections and influence.

It will not be only prosecutors who will accuse Parnas of fraud. Kukushkin’s lawyers said they would argue that Parnas betrayed Kukushkin and his Russian backer, who they say were unaware of the plan, setting the stage for some potentially tense moments. District Judge Paul Oetken denied a previous request for a separate trial and said he would rule on controversial trial moments as they come.

Parnas and Kukushkin have denied any wrongdoing.

The attorney has spent time with Otken in recent days, discussing what the parties can and cannot do during the trial, while debating the potentially irrelevant and distracting fanfare about Trump and Giuliani. how to reduce

Federal prosecutors’ investigation into Giuliani’s behavior in Ukraine remains active and an independent court-appointed “special master” is reviewing the material. seized in raid At Giuliani’s home and office in April.

who will testify

Prosecutors are expected to testify with Joe Ahern, a top official at America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC that received a $325,000 donation at issue in an alleged straw donor scheme.

Joseph Bondi, Parnas’ attorney in court, said Ahern would likely talk about Parnas’ efforts to receive invitations to events and donate to reach Trump.

Lawyers involved in the case say other witnesses include Felix Vullis, a Russian businessman and former chief executive of Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., in connection with the cannabis business; Former Chief of Staff to former Representative Pete Sessions; current and former FEC attorneys; Two Nevada politicians, Adam Laxalt, then Nevada’s attorney general and gubernatorial candidate, and Wesley Duncan, a less prominent politician in the state; a lawyer who helped Parnas register the cannabis business in the state; and a law firm associate who assisted with Parnas’ filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Two names who will be on the email and text exchange but will be physically absent from the trial include Fruman, who pleaded guilty last month to one count related to the scheme for soliciting contributions from a foreign national. Fruman originally faced multiple charges in several federal indictments, but struck a plea deal that did not require him to cooperate with prosecutors. He faces up to five years in prison and is to be sentenced in January.

The other name is David Correa, another business associate with other men. He is currently serving a one-year sentence after pleading guilty to charges last October for defrauding investors in a company fraud guarantee that ran with Parnas from 2012 to 2019. He is not cooperating and is expected to be released in January.

According to the lawsuit filed in federal court in February, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Parnas and Correa in connection with an alleged fraud guarantee scheme. Correa settled the matter with the SEC but Parnas’ attorney continued to file suit on his behalf.

Despite being known to tout his money and connections to Trump’s high rollers, Parnas told the court this month that he is out of cash to pay his attorney. Oetken relieved Parnas, deciding that the government would arrange or pay for his travel from his Florida home and that his attorney would be reimbursed for government expenses at a per-day rate.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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