Feds Arrest 2 Florida Businessmen Linked to Giuliani on Campaign-Finance Violations

This Facebook screen shot provided by The Campaign Legal Center shows from left Donald Trump Jr. Tommy Hicks Jr. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman posted

Two men linked to Trump's lawyer Giuliani arrested on campaign-finance violations

Lev Parnas, a United States citizen who was born in Ukraine, and Igor Fruman, a U.S. citizen who was born in Belarus, were taken into custody on Wednesday on charges brought by NY prosecutors and are to appear in court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday. No destination was disclosed.

Parnas and Fruman have acted as emissaries in Ukraine for Giuliani as he has sought to uncover information about, and encourage investigations into, Trump's rivals, including Biden.

The indictments mark the first criminal charges related to the Ukraine controversy.

Both Parnas and Fruman are USA citizens.

The Trump administration's role in Ukraine are at the centre of an congressional impeachment inquiry.

A spokesman for America First Action told The Wall Street Journal that the group had placed the contribution in a segregated bank account following the complaint filed with the FEC.

"I don't want to interfere in USA elections", he said, adding that he's awaiting an official visit to the United States.

The committees sent letters to Parnas and Fruman late last month requesting documents by this past Monday, and appear for depositions on Thursday.

The congressman was not identified in the indictment but press reports said it was former congressman Pete Sessions, a Republican from Texas.

Parnas is a Ukrainian businessman.

John Dowd, the lawyer for Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman, declined to comment on the charges.

"We are pleased that federal law enforcement has conducted an investigation into these campaign finance crimes and made these two arrests". The fourth man, David Correia, hasn't been arrested. A court appearance Thursday was delayed as lawyers tried to work out a bail package.

Two other men, American-born David Correia and Andrew Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born US citizen, were also charged in the case.

The two men had been planning to fly to Vienna on Wednesday night, according to a source familiar with the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

According to the indictment, Parnas, who is also a Ukrainian-born American was acting "at least in part" at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.

Prosecutors allege businessmen used wire transfers from a corporate entity they controlled to make the donation in 2018.

According to the indictment, the businessmen saw opportunities in a booming American economy to make a lot of money. The indictment says the men acted on behalf of an unnamed Ukranian official and hid the source of their political donations.

- In addition to the $325,00 donation, Parnas and Fruman are accused of funneling straw donations to other political candidates. 20 million more people insured. The lawmaker had also received about $3 million in independent expenditures from a super political action committee that Parnas and Fruman had been funding.

"The alleged activity was done without the knowledge of the candidates or campaign", he told Politico. Parnas and Kukushkin were born in Ukraine and Fruman was born in Belarus.

Parnas said that any violations of Federal Election Commission rules were unwitting and a "clerical thing" because he was not an experienced political donor. His office had brought unrelated charges against the president's former legal "fixer" Michael Cohen a year ago.

USA law prohibits foreign donations in American elections.

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