Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Fruman and associate Lev Parnas hid an illegal donation of $ 325,000 to support Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Igor Fruman, who tried to find harmful information in Ukraine before the 2020 election about the then US presidential candidate Joe Biden, pleaded guilty on Friday to one criminal charge.

Fruman, 56, a former aide to former US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, admitted during a US trial in New York that he had asked for money from a stranger.

Fruman becomes the youngest person attached to Trump to be criminally charged. Eight others have been charged or pleaded guilty to crimes, including lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and banking and tax fraud.

Belarus-born Fruman and his former business partner, Ukrainian-born businessman Lev Parnas, has been charged in October 2019 with the concealment of an illegal donation of $ 325,000 in support of Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020.

They and another defendant, Andrey Kukushkin, were also accused of illegally using donations to U.S. politicians by a Russian businessman to obtain legal licenses for the distribution of cannabis.

Fruman’s plea is related to the business. In a statement to the court, Fruman said he intended to make donations to Democratic and Republican officials in the U.S. states where he wants to work, and sent a list of officials to the foreigner.

“At the time, I had little experience in the rules around political donations,” Fruman said.

‘But I generally understood that foreign nationals and individuals who are not U.S. citizens are not allowed to make political donations in the United States.

“I very much regret my actions and apologize to the court and the US Government,” he added.

A federal prosecutor said $ 1 million was wired as part of the scheme.

Lawyers for Parnas and Kukushkin did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters’ news service.

Parnas and Kukushkin pleaded not guilty and are due to stand trial on October 12.

Former President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas on September 20, 2019 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. [File: Aram Roston/Reuters]

Fruman’s plea does not include an agreement to cooperate with prosecutors investigating Giuliani’s cases in Ukraine, including whether the one-time mayor of New York violated the law while he was Trump’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani called in Fruman and Parnas to help expose dirt on then-presidential candidate Biden and his son, Hunter.

Prosecutors say Fruman and Parnas also made an attempt to remove the then US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who fired Trump in May 2019.

Giuliani has not been charged and denies guilt.

Federal agents seized cell phones and computers in his home and office in April.

Giuliani se New York legal license suspended in June after a court found him to have lied by alleging that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

The case against Parnassus included a charge in which he committed people to invest more than $ 2 million in a fraudulent insurance company, Fraud Guarantee, but prosecutors removed the charge from an amended charge last month.

A fourth defendant, David Correia, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge related to fraud and was sentenced in February to one year and one day in prison.

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