Giuliani associate convicted of campaign finance crimes
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York jury convicted a former associate of Rudy Giuliani on Friday of charges that he made illegal campaign contributions to influence U.S. politicians and advance his business interests.
The verdict was returned in Manhattan federal court, where Lev Parnas was on trial for more than two weeks as prosecutors accused him of using other people’s money to pose as a powerful political broker and cozy up to some of the nation’s star Republican political figures.
One part of the case alleged that Parnas and an associate made illegal donations through a corporate entity to Republican political committees in 2018, including a $325,000 donation to America First Action, a super PAC supporting former President Donald Trump.
Another part said he used the wealth of a Russian financier, Andrey Muraviev, to make donations to U.S. politicians, ostensibly in support of an effort to launch a legal, recreational marijuana business.
Parnas, 49, was convicted on all counts.
The Soviet-born Florida businessman had insisted through his lawyer that he never used the Russian’s money for political donations. He briefly closed his eyes and shook his head as the verdict was read.
Outside the courtroom after the verdict, Parnas said, “I’ve never hid from nobody. I’ve always stood to tell the truth.”
A co-defendant, Ukraine-born investor Andrey Kukushkin, was convicted of being part of the effort to use Muraviev’s money for political contributions. He had also denied any wrongdoing.
The case had drawn interest because of the deep involvement of Parnas and a former co-defendant, Igor Fruman, in Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden’s son during Biden’s campaign for president.
Giuliani remains under criminal investigation as authorities decide...