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They Helped Giuliani in Ukraine. Now They're in Handcuffs

Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman arrested on campaign finance violations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 10, 2019 11:05 AM CDT
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This Facebook screenshot shows, from left, Donald Trump Jr., Tommy Hicks Jr., Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman, posted on May 21, 2018.   (The Campaign Legal Center via AP)

(Newser) – Two Florida businessmen tied to President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been arrested on campaign finance violations resulting from a $325,000 donation to a political action committee supporting Trump's reelection. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman—both involved in the push to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden—were arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission, and falsification of records, reports the AP. Ukrainian Parnas, Belarusian Fruman, and fellow defendants David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin schemed "to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments," reads the indictment filed in the Southern District of New York, per NBC News.

Records show the men used wire transfers from a corporate entity they controlled to make a $325,000 donation to the America First Action committee in 2018. Records that became public through a lawsuit show that the corporate entity reported as making the transaction, Global Energy Producers, was not the true source of the money. It actually came from a Russian, per the Wall Street Journal. A rep for America First Action says the donation was placed in a segregated bank account that will remain untouched "until these matters are resolved," per CNN. The AP notes John Dowd, a lawyer for the men who are expected in federal court in Virginia on Thursday, hung up on a reporter calling about the case.

(Read more campaign finance stories.)

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