NEW YORK (AP) – Leo Parnas once presented himself through TV interviews and his lawyer’s unconventional publicity campaign as a man who exposed corruption in the Trump administration’s affairs in Ukraine. Can
Less than two years later and with less fanfare, the 49-year-old is on trial in a federal lawsuit that makes him more of a typical graffiti than a whistleblower than former presidents Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Will bring down
The jury’s selection is set to begin on Tuesday in a lawsuit involving Parnas, a Soviet-born Florida businessman, and Andrei Kokushkin, a defendant, Ukrainian-born investor, in an illegal campaign to get American politicians to run their business. I am accused of contributing. Interests
Parnas and another Soviet-born Florida businessman, who has already pleaded guilty in the case, Igor Froman, initially told reporters and investigators after making large donations to Republican political committees through a corporate body. Gained attention, including a عط 325,000 donation to the United States in 2018 for First Action, a Super PAC that supports Trump.
The pair then became middlemen in a bid to discredit then-candidate Joe Biden. He linked Giolani to Ukrainian officials because the former mayor of New York City had tried to open an investigation into the country’s future president’s son, Hunter. Meanwhile, Ukrainian tycoons and officials sought Giulani’s help in contacting the Trump administration.
Federal prosecutors in New York City, however, have made it clear that anyone seeking a lawsuit to create new, damaging information about Trump or Giuliani will be disappointed.
He told U.S. District Judge Paul Otkin last week that while judges will probably hear about how Parnas and Furman shared their photos with Trump and Giolani to end their influence as international fixers. Tried, Republican former president and his former personal lawyer “come very tempted.
Prosecutors have quietly dropped a very interesting allegation in the original indictment: that Parnas and Froman donated money to US politicians as part of an effort by Ukrainian figures to oust US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Ivanovich. , Who later became a key figure in the impeachment proceedings against Trump
When the charges were announced in 2019, then-US Attorney Jeffrey S. Berman, highlighting Ivanovich’s allegations, said defendants were “not only pursuing their own financial interests but also the involvement of at least one foreign official.” He sought political influence to advance his political interests, a Ukrainian government official who demanded the removal of the US ambassador to Ukraine.
The prosecution later wrote to the judge that the charge had been dropped from the revised indictment in an attempt to “streamline” the case, but offered no further explanation.
Giuliani said he was not aware of any illegal involvement in the campaign and was not charged in the case, although his work in Ukraine is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Federal agents searched Giuliani’s New York City home and office last April, taking computers and phones as part of an investigation into what he did that required him to register as a foreign agent. Giuliani says his only client was Trump.
After the Ukrainian allegations are dropped, the case is expected to focus on allegations that the prince has exceeded the limits of his personal campaign involvement by hiding the true nature of the money. U.S. Representative Pete Sessions, Texas Republicans, Florida Gov. Ron de Santes, and political committees aimed to support Republicans running for Congress.
Part of the lawsuit alleges that Parnas and Kokoshkin were straw donors to Andrei Moravio, a wealthy Russian investor in the growing legal cannabis market in the United States.
The indictment alleges that Moravio set aside 10 1 million in donations for politicians in several states, including Nevada, where the group was hoping to enter the legal cannabis business.
The prosecution did not allege that the politicians who received the money knew that it came from illicit sources. Moravio has not been charged either.
The defense hopes Parnas will be portrayed as an investor trying to develop legal cannabis and other business ventures, including an energy company, Global Energy Producers, which seeks to export natural gas to Europe. Will join
Defense attorney Joseph Bondi told the court that he and Furman wanted partial contact, “which could further enhance their new energy business interests.” He said the سے 1 million from Moravio went to Forman – not Parnas – and it was a personal loan made in the wake of Nevada’s cannabis eradication.
Kokoshkin’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Parnes’ co-defendant is a San Francisco-based businessman with a long association with several legal cannabis businesses in California.
Another defendant in the case, David Correa, pleaded guilty to charges of making false statements and conspiracy to defraud the Federal Election Commission. The conspiracy counts as an allegation that he defrauded investors in an insurance company that paid Giolani a 500,000 advisory fee.
Unlike Froman, who stayed out of the spotlight and recently pleaded guilty to soliciting involvement in an illegal campaign, Parnas sought a key role in Trump’s first indictment by providing his personal record to congressional investigators.
After Parnas was indicted in 2020, Bondi began tweeting photos of his client with Julietani and Republican lawmakers with the hashtag #LetLevSpeak. The attorney also provided congressional investigators with a recording of Parnas’s conversation with Trump about US Ambassador Ivanovich.
In one part of the tape, first obtained by ABC News, a voice that appears to be Parnas can be heard saying, “She is basically walking around telling everyone: ‘ Wait, he will be charged. Just wait. “A speaker who looks at Trump then replies:” Get rid of him! Take him out. Okay? Do it. ”
The U.S. Senate, then Republican-controlled, acquitted Trump in 2020 of allegations that he abused his authority by threatening to cut off military aid to Ukraine until his leader, Biden, was investigated. Don’t do