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Grand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman

Grand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman
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Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates who worked with President TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani associate Correia pleads guilty to making false statements Spies are trying to influence the election — US spies, that is Giuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele MORE to collect information on political rivals, were charged Thursday with additional campaign finance crimes in connection with a company Parnas founded. 

Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney general for the Southern District of New York, wrote in a letter to District Judge J. Paul Oetken that a grand jury brought forth an indictment Thursday charging Parnas and Fruman with “soliciting a foreign national to make donations and contributions in connection with federal and state elections,” as well as for “aiding and abetting the making of donations and contributions by a foreign national in connection with federal and state elections.” 

The new charges come in addition to those brought in October 2019, in which the men, along with two other associates, were charged with conspiring to violate the ban on political donations and contributions by foreign nationals. Parnas and Fruman were previously charged with “conspiring to make contributions in connection with federal elections in the names of others, and with making false statements to and falsifying records to obstruct the administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”).” 

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Oetken announced the new charges Thursday in a press release, and said the trial is set to take place Feb. 1. 

The New York judge had announced in April that the trial, which was originally scheduled to start Oct. 5, would be postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thursday’s charges bring additional scrutiny against men tied to Trump’s inner circle just two months before the president faces reelection. 

According to The New York Times, prosecutors argued that Parnas convinced investors to invest more than $2 million into the insurance company “Fraud Guarantee,” which was intended to offer protections for consumers against fraud. However, the company reportedly never took off.  

The same federal prosecutors investigated Giuliani on whether he illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of a Ukrainian official. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing. 

In 2019, Parnas, Fruman and Giuliani attempted to persuade Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of now Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll Ivanka Trump raises million in a week for father's campaign On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election MORE. The men also allegedly tried to find harmful information on Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchGiuliani associate Correia pleads guilty to making false statements Teenager who filmed George Floyd's death to be honored Grand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman MORE, then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Trump eventually removed Yovanovitch from her post last year, with the former ambassador later serving as a key witness in Trump’s impeachment proceedings.