NEW YORK — Lev Parnas, an affiliate of Rudy Giuliani who was a determine in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation, was sentenced Wednesday to a 12 months and eight months in jail for fraud and marketing campaign finance crimes.
Parnas, who had helped Giuliani join with Ukrainian figures as a part of a marketing campaign to dig up grime on President Joe Biden’s son, had sought leniency on the grounds that he’d helped the Congressional probe.
However prosecutors stated the Soviet-born businessman’s support was in response to a subpoena and deserved little credit score.
As a substitute, they requested the choose to concentrate on a jury’s discovering that Parnas used the riches of a rich Russian to make unlawful donations to politicians who may support the launch of a authorized recreational-marijuana enterprise.
Prosecutors had requested that Parnas be sentenced to greater than six years.
An October conviction additionally supported a discovering that he made unlawful donations in 2018 to jump-start a brand new vitality firm.
Parnas pleaded responsible to conspiring to provide buyers false data
In March, Parnas pleaded responsible to conspiring to commit wire fraud, admitting that between 2012 and 2019 he conspired with one other particular person to provide buyers false details about a Florida-based enterprise, Fraud Assure.
Fraud Assure was promoted as an organization that might defend buyers in opposition to fraud. Giuliani accepted $500,000 from the corporate to behave as a marketing consultant, however was not accused of wrongdoing or charged with any crimes.
On the emotional sentencing listening to, a number of people who misplaced cash investing in Parnas’ enterprise ventures gave statements. Mineola, New York, legal professional Charles Gucciardo stated he despatched the $500,000 to a Giuliani checking account to assist the Fraud Assure enterprise.
He stated he would not blame Giuliani for his connection to a enterprise that by no means appeared to get off the bottom, however as a substitute blames Parnas, saying Parnas “ran out of cash and wanted to maintain his relationship with Giuliani alive.” Gucciardo stated that as a substitute of engaged on the Fraud Assure enterprise, Parnas “left to do marijuana work in Las Vegas.”
Dianne Pues stated Parnas “destroyed my life.” Pues and her husband weren’t a part of the marketing campaign finance case, however that they had pursued Parnas in civil court docket for years after he did not repay cash that they had loaned him to provide a film known as “Anatomy of an Murderer.”
Then a sobbing Parnas, who shook his head as a few of the victims spoke, cried as he apologized to his victims, generally turning round to attempt to take a look at them as he spoke.
“I wish to apologize to all of the victims that I damage. These are all people who find themselves my pals, all individuals who trusted me and I lied to them to additional my private agenda,” Parnas stated.
Then, turning round to face Gucciardo, Parnas provided a direct apology.
“I would prefer to apologize to Mr. Gucciardo. Despite the fact that I by no means spent a greenback of his cash. I lied to him and used our friendship. Charles, I’m sorry,” he stated.
The case in opposition to Parnas was indirectly tied to his work for Giuliani
The felony case in opposition to Parnas was indirectly associated to his work performing as a fixer for Giuliani as the previous New York Metropolis mayor tried to get Ukrainian officers to analyze Biden’s son, Hunter, earlier than he was elected president.
Giuliani, who was working on the time as a private lawyer for then-President Donald Trump, has stated he knew nothing concerning the crimes of Parnas and others.
The previous New York Metropolis mayor has not been criminally charged however he’s being investigated to find out whether or not he violated a federal regulation that governs lobbying on behalf of international international locations or entities.
In presentence papers, protection legal professionals criticized prosecutors for rejecting makes an attempt by Parnas to cooperate in return for leniency at sentencing, saying the federal government used statements from Parnas solely to “thwart his potential trial testimony.”
In a submission of their very own, prosecutors stated they rejected Parnas as a possible cooperator as a result of his data “was not absolutely credible and in materials respects was plainly contradicted by the proof.”