Updated Oct 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Photo of Lev Parnas wearing sunglasses and standing with two others

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

  • Parnas also worked with Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into investigating President Biden for alleged corruption in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

Details: A jury found Parnas guilty of scheming to use the Russian's money to fund political contributions, which he and co-conspirators planned to trade for political favors to support their joint cannabis venture, according to CNN.

  • Parnas was also convicted of using a fake company and money from Igor Fruman, another Giuliani associate, to fund political contributions into GOP and pro-Trump committees — and lying about it to the Federal Election Commission.
  • Fruman previously pleaded guilty to charges of funneling foreign money to U.S. campaign coffers.
  • Parnas faces up to five years in prison for each of the five counts, though he could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years for the sixth count, falsifying records to the FEC.
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