Federal prosecutors weighing new charges that would bring Parnas investigation closer to Giuliani: report
New charges federal prosecutors are weighing against Lev Parnas could place Rudy Giuliani closer to the ongoing investigation of his associates, CNN reported Monday.
Prosecutors are weighing charges against Parnas and at least one of his business partners on misleading investors for Fraud Guarantee, a company co-founded by Parnas that paid Giuliani $500,000, people familiar with the investigation told CNN.
The payment to Giuliani came around the time that Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman began aiding Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, in arranging meetings in Ukraine to get information on Trump’s political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden, according to CNN.
The pressure campaign in Ukraine was at the center of the impeachment articles filed by the House that ultimately ended with Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are weighing the charges against Parnas as investors examine if the businessmen duped investors about the value of Fraud Guarantee, people familiar with the investigation told CNN.
A lawyer for Giuliani told CNN his client had never had any conversations about investor pitches or marketing with Parnas or his business partner David Correia.
Giuliani’s counsel Bob Costello told The Hill Giuliani has “no knowledge about any such investigation.”
“For four months, as one false story after another emerged from alleged leaks, we have told the SDNY prosecutors, that if they had any questions about anything the Mayor said or did, we would be happy to demonstrate the falsity of those claims. We have not been asked any questions,” Costello said in a statement. “Quite simply, as I have said numerous times before, Mayor Giuliani has always acted in a proper and legal fashion. Mayor Giuliani absolutely did not violate any laws.”
Fraud Guarantee was set up in 2013 by Parnas and Correia, with the men pitching it as an insurance policy for companies to protect against fraud, according to CNN, which notes it isn’t clear if they had any clients.
Parnas, Correia, Fruman and Andrey Kukushkin have been charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors with campaign finance violations. All have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have said new charges in the case are likely but have not said which charges or when they will be filed.
“We have taken into account prosecutors’ statements that they might bring additional charges against Mr. Parnas and others since the inception of this case. We are therefore not surprised, and remain prepared to defend Mr. Parnas against any such charges,” Joseph Bondy, a lawyer for Parnas, told CNN.
Lawyers for Correia and Fruman declined to comment to CNN.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan was not available when contacted by The Hill.
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