Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes
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.