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 TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRudy Giuliani becomes grandfather after son welcomes child Press: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Former NYC police commissioner to testify before Jan. 6 committee, demands apology 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 BidenHouse passes 8B defense policy bill House approves bill to ease passage of debt limit hike Senate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale MORE. The men also allegedly tried to find harmful information on Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchGiuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Former Ukrainian prosecutor says he was fired for not investigating Hunter Biden: report 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.