Giuliani associate Lev Parnas found guilty on campaign finance charges

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas found guilty on campaign finance charges
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A federal jury in Manhattan unanimously found Lev Parnas, a businessman and associate of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, guilty of six counts related to campaign finance violations.

Parnas, 49, was convicted of "influence buying" schemes involving money from Russian backers that he and others used to curry favor with U.S. politicians to promote a cannabis venture. He was also found guilty on one count of lying to the Federal Election Commission about how he channeled funds to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and other Republican causes. Andrey Kukushkin, another associate, was also convicted on two of the charges.

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“In order to gain influence with American politicians and candidates, they illegally funneled foreign money into the 2018 midterm elections with an eye toward making huge profits in the cannabis business,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

Parnas, who had pleaded not guilty, faces up to five years in prison for each of the five counts and a maximum of 20 years for the charge of lying to the FEC.

The trial lasted two weeks, and Parnas did not testify in his own defense. The judge denied a request to take both of the defendants into custody.

Parnas, a Florida resident born in the Soviet Union, is facing another trial in Manhattan federal court on charges related to defrauding investors. He won't be sentenced until that trial has reached a conclusion, the Washington Post reported.

Kukushkin will likely be sentenced in February.

Another man involved in the scheme, Igor Fruman, was found guilty on one charge of campaign finance violation last month.

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Parnas assisted Giuliani in digging up dirt on the Biden family in Ukraine. Giuliani has not been charged with a crime, but his dealings in Ukraine remain under investigation. Federal agents raided his Manhattan home and office in April.

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Tags: News, Rudy Giuliani, FEC, Follow the Money

Original Author: Virginia Aabram

Original Location: Giuliani associate Lev Parnas found guilty on campaign finance charges

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