The wild indictment of Rudy’s associates, annotated

By Zachary B. Wolf and Sean O'Key, CNN Published October 10, 2019

Two associates of Rudy Giuliani who feature prominently in the Ukraine scandal have been indicted in New York and arrested at an airport outside Washington trying to leave the US. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, along with two others, are charged with breaking campaign finance laws. The story involves six-figure donations, an unnamed Russian, a disliked US ambassador who President Donald Trump later recalled, photos with Trump and a plan to open a marijuana business. You can read the indictment below, along with our explanations of some of its details.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- v. -
LEV PARNAS,
IGOR FRUMAN,
DAVID CORREIA, and
ANDREY KUKUSHKIN,
Defendants.
The Grand Jury charges:

INTRODUCTION

  1. Through its election laws, Congress prohibits foreign nationals from making contributions, donations, and certain expenditures in connection with federal, State, and local elections, and prohibits anyone from making contributions in the name of another. Congress further requires public reporting through the Federal Election Commission (the “FEC”) of the sources and amounts of contributions and expenditures made in connection with federal elections. A purpose of these laws, taken together, is to protect the United States electoral system from illegal foreign financial influence, and to further inform all candidates, their campaign committees, federal regulators, and the public of (i) the true sources of contributions to candidates for federal office; and (ii) any effort by foreign nationals to influence federal, State, or local elections with foreign money.

US election laws are quite simple. Candidates cannot solicit help from foreign governments, and private foreign citizens aren’t allowed to contribute to US elections. And, for transparency purposes, there is supposed to be names associated with contributions. FEC puts the data online. But websites like OpenSecrets are a little more user-friendly.

  1. LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme 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. The defendants concealed the scheme from the candidates, campaigns, federal regulators, and the public by entering into secret agreements, laundering foreign money through bank accounts in the names of limited liability corporations, and through the use of straw donors (also known as “conduits” or “straw contributors”) who purported to make legal campaign contributions in their own names, rather than in the name of the true source of the funds.

If you’ve been paying close attention to the Ukraine scandal, you know the names Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They helped Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani push conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son. Parnas was described in a recent CNN profile as Giuliani’s “Ukrainian middleman.”

  1. LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, made additional contributions to federal candidates, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees that either (i) were intentionally funneled through, and made in the name of, a limited liability corporation to conceal that PARNAS and FRUMAN were the true source of contributions and skirt the federal reporting requirements; or (ii) were reported in PARNAS’s name but were funded by FROMAN, which allowed FRUMAN to exceed limits on contributions to candidates or committees to whom he had previously contributed. The defendants further concealed this aspect of the conspiracy by, among other things, making and causing others to make false statements to the FEC.

Parnas and Fruman are accused of hiding the source of contributions as well as exceeding contribution limits.

The timing of these indictments by the Department of Justice is incredible: House impeachment investigators have just subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman for testimony and documents concerning their involvement in Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine. Parnas and Fruman have retained former Trump attorney John Dowd to help them with congressional requests.

THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS

  1. The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, Title 52, United States Code, Section 30101, et seq., (the “Election Act”), prohibits certain financial influences on the election of candidates for federal office.

You can read it right here.

  1. To prevent the influence of foreign nationals on elections, the Election Act prohibits foreign nationals, directly or indirectly, from making any contributions or donations in connection with federal, State, or local elections. Additionally, to limit the influence that any one person could have on the outcome of a federal election, the Election Act establishes limits on the amounts that even United States citizens or lawful permanent residents can contribute to a federal candidate and the candidate’s authorized committee, including joint fundraising committees, which are committees established for the purpose of fundraising for multiple committees at the same time.

An individual can give each candidate $2,800 under current rules in the 2019-2020 election cycle. There are different limits for different types of donors. The FEC has a chart. The rules also allow for super PACs, or “independent-expenditure-only committees.” They can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money from donors, but they can’t contribute to campaigns or coordinate with them.

  1. To prevent individuals from circumventing the Election Act, and to enable the detection of attempts to circumvent the Act, the Election Act also prohibits a person from making a political contribution in the name of another in connection with any federal election, including, for example, by giving funds to a straw donor for the purpose of having the straw donor pass the funds on to a federal candidate or to a candidate’s federal campaign committee or joint fundraising committee as a donation from the straw donor, rather than in the name of the true source of the money. The Election Act also prohibits contributing in the name of another to an independent expenditure committee spending to influence the outcome of that federal campaign.

The use of so-called straw donors is a real problem in US politics and a way around campaign finance laws. For instance, a Republican operative pleaded guilty to steering money from Ukraine to Trump’s inaugural committee.

  1. The FEC is an agency and department of the United States with jurisdiction to enforce the limits and prohibitions of the Election Act, in part by requiring candidates, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees to file regular reports of the sources and amounts of the contributions they receive. To deter abuses of the Election Act and instill public confidence in the election process against corruption and the appearance of corruption, the Election Act requires the FEC to publish the reports that it receives so that all of the candidates, the entire public, and law enforcement may all see the specific information about the amounts and sources of political contributions and expenditures involving federal candidates and registered political committees.

RELEVANT INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES

  1. LEV PARNAS, the defendant, is a businessman and United States citizen who was born in Ukraine.
  1. IGOR FRUMAN, the defendant, is a businessman and United States citizen who was born in Belarus.
  1. DAVID CORREIA, the defendant, is a businessman and United States citizen who was born in the United States.
  1. ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendant, is a businessman and United States citizen who was born in Ukraine.
  1. Foreign National-1 is a foreign national Russian citizen and businessman who, at all relevant times, was not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.

The cast of characters in this indictment includes two Ukrainian-born US citizens, one US citizen born in Belarus, one natural-born American and one Russian.

THE STRAW DONOR SCHEME

  1. Beginning in or about March 2018, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, began attending political fundraising events in connection with federal elections and making substantial contributions to candidates, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees with the purpose of enhancing their influence in political circles and gaining access to politicians. PARNAS and FRUMAN, who had no significant prior history of political donations, sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working. In order to conceal from third parties, including creditors, their sources of funding and capital, PARNAS and FRUMAN created a limited liability corporation, Global Energy Producers (“GEP”), and then intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of in their own names.

The indictment tracks closely in places with a complaint filed with the FEC against Parnas and Fruman by the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington-based watchdog group, in July 2018. A complaint to the FEC like the one filed by the Campaign Legal Center is mentioned later in the indictment. The Daily Beast also published a very detailed profile of Global Energy Producers and their very large contribution to America First Action.

  1. Specifically, in or about May 2018, to obtain access to exclusive political events and gain influence with politicians, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, made a $325,000 contribution to an independent expenditure committee (“Committee-1”) and a $15,000 contribution to a second independent expenditure committee (“Committee-2”). Despite the fact that the FEC forms for these contributions required PARNAS and FRUMAN to disclose the true donor of the funds, they falsely reported that the contributions came from GEP, a purported liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) import-export business that was incorporated by FROMAN and PARNAS around the time the contributions were made.

“Committee-1” is America First Action Inc., a super PAC closely aligned with Trump’s interests. It’s chaired by former Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer works there. You can see a $325,000 donation to America First Action in 2018 by Global Energy Producers on the OpenSecrets site. America First spokeswoman Kelly Sadler said in a statement that the funds had not been used and had been placed in a segregated account.

It is not yet clear what entity is referred to as “Committee-2.”

  1. In truth and in fact, the donations to Committee-1 and Committee-2 did not come from GEP funds. Rather, the funds came from a private lending transaction between FRUMAN and third parties, and never passed through a GEP account. Indeed, PARNAS and FRUMAN incorporated GEP at and around the time of the contributions to Comittee-1 and Committee-2, and deliberately made the contributions in GEP’s name, in order to evade the reporting requirements under the Election Act and to conceal that they were the true source of the contributions. At that time, GEP had not engaged in the LNG business, and had no income or significant assets.

Parnas and Fruman were pushing for an investigation of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, which used to employ Hunter Biden on its board. They said they were interested in getting into the natural gas game themselves, and had pitched gas deals in Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

  1. LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, intentionally reported that the contributions came from GEP to hide from creditors the fact that they had access to funding, and to conceal from the public and the FEC their involvement in making these contributions. Indeed, when media reports about the GEP contributions first surfaced, an individual working with PARNAS remarked, “(t]his is what happens when you become visible … the buzzards descend,” to which PARNAS responded, “[t]hat’s why we need to stay under the radar…”

It’s not clear where these conversations come from. The initial media reports referenced in the indictment could be a Daily Beast article published in July 2018. Regardless, giving $325,000 to a super PAC allied with Trump is a strange way of staying under the radar. Fruman was feted at a donor event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and shared pictures on social media.

  1. In addition to the contributions made and falsely reported in the name of GEP, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, caused illegal contributions to be made in PARNAS’s name that, in fact, were funded by FRUMAN, in order to evade federal contribution limits. Much as with the contributions described above, these contributions were made for the purpose of gaining influence with politicians so as to advance their own personal financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian government officials, including at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working.

The former prosecutor who teased a possible new investigation of the natural gas company that employed Hunter Biden once told The Washington Post he met with Fruman and Parnas. But it’s not clear whether that’s the person prosecutors are referring to here.

For example, in or about May and June 2018, PARNAS and FRUMAN committed to raise $20,000 or more for a then-sitting U.S. Congressman (“Congressman- 1”), who had also been the beneficiary of approximately $3 million in independent expenditures by Committee-1 during the 2018 election cycle. PARNAS and FRUMAN had met Congressman-1 at an event sponsored by an independent expenditure committee to which FRUMAN had recently made a substantial contribution.1 During the 2018 election cycle, Congressman-1 had been the beneficiary of approximately $3 million in independent expenditures by Committee-1.

Congressman-1 appears to be Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the former chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. He lost his reelection campaign in 2018, but he’s running to get his old job back in 2020. America First Action spent more than $3 million on Sessions’ behalf, according to FEC records. Sessions is not charged with any wrongdoing and said he had no knowledge of any scheme.

They also contributed $50,000 to a committee aligned with former Congressman Ron DeSantis, a close Trump ally who is now governor of Florida, according to the Campaign Legal Center complaint. DeSantis is returning the money, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

At and around the same time PARNAS and FRUMAN committed to raising those funds for Congressman-1 PARNAS met with Congressman-1 and sought Congressman-1’s assistance in causing the U.S. Government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (the “Ambassador”).

The ambassador in May 2018 was Marie Yovanovitch. She was appointed in 2016 and recalled by Trump this past spring. The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump specifically recalled Yovanovitch after complaints by Giuliani and others.

Trump mentioned Yovanovitch during his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that,” Trump said, according to a White House transcript. “I agree with you 100%,” Zelensky answered. “She’s going to go through some things,” Trump added.

CNN has documented Sessions’ efforts to remove Yovanovitch.

PARNAS’s efforts to remove the Ambassador were conducted, at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials. Moreover, in an effort to reach their contribution commitment to Congressman-1 and further their political goals, in or about June 2018, after FRUMAN had already made a maximum $2,700 contribution to Congressman-1, FRUMAN paid for another maximum $2,700 contribution to Congressman-1 that was made and reported in PARNAS’s name.

It’s not clear which Ukranian officials they are referring to. But there is one Ukrainian official we know interacted with Parnas and Fruman and was also frustrated by Yovanovitch. Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, complained about her to US media. The Washington Post reported Parnas helped set up a meeting between Lutsenko and Giuliani.

  1. Similarly, in or about June 2018, to fulfill a financial commitment to gain access to an exclusive political event, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, made an $11,000 contribution in PARNAS’s name to a joint fundraising committee (“Committee-3”) that was actually funded by FRUMAN. As a result of that contribution and a prior contribution FRUMAN had made to Committee-3 in his own name, FRUMAN made contributions in excess of legal contribution limits.

In June 2018, Parnas gave $11,000 to Protect the House, a Republican Party committee that was formed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The indictment suggests the $11,000 actually came from Fruman. McCarthy said Thursday that the money would be donated to charity.

  1. Moreover, and to further conceal the true source of the funds used to make certain of the donations described above, in or about October 2018, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, submitted materially false sworn affidavits to the FEC. Specifically, and in response to a complaint filed with the FEC regarding the $325,000 contribution to Committee-1 described in paragraph 14, above, and the $2,700 donation to Congressman-1 made in the name of PARNAS, described in paragraph 17, above, PARNAS and FRUMAN made the following false statements, in substance and in part:

The complaint appears to line up in places with the one from the Campaign Legal Center, though that’s not spelled out. A complaint to the FEC like the one filed by the Campaign Legal Center is mentioned in the indictment.

a. That “a $325,000 contribution to [Committee- 1] . . was made with GEP funds for GEP purposes,” when in truth and in fact, the contribution was made with funds from a private lending transaction for the purposes described in paragraph 17, above.

The Associated Press reported on the likely funding scheme and said it related to loans secured by high-rise condos in Florida. You can read it on the Washington Post website. The funding scheme was discovered during an unrelated lawsuit involving a Navy veteran in New York, who said Parnas defrauded him using a fake Hollywood movie project.

b. That “GEP is a real business enterprise funded with substantial bona fide capital investment; its major purpose is energy trading, not political activity,” when in truth and in fact, GEP had no existing business, was not funded with bona fide capital investment, and was not engaged in energy trading, as described in paragraph 15, above.

The indictment alleges that the company used to give money to the Trump-aligned super PAC was essentially a shell to funnel political donations.

c. That a contribution made by PARNAS on or about June 25, 2018 to [Congressman-1] “was made with a business credit card which [PARNAS] reimbursed,” when in truth and in fact, PARNAS did not reimburse FRUMAN or any other individual for that contribution.

THE FOREIGN NATIONAL DONOR SCHEME

  1. From in or about June 2018 through April 2019, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, and others known and unknown, conspired to make political donations - funded by Foreign National-1 - to politicians and candidates for federal and State office to gain influence with candidates as to policies that would benefit a future business venture. Moreover, and to conceal the true source of the contributions and donations funded by Foreign National-1, PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and KUKOSHKIN caused the contributions and donations to be made in the defendants’ names rather than in the name of Foreign National-1.

It is not clear who Foreign National-1 is other than that the individual is a Russian. There has been very little reporting on Kukushkin or Correia at this point. Here’s the latest CNN reporting on who’s who in this indictment.

  1. Beginning in or around July 2018, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, made plans to form a recreational marijuana business that would be funded by Foreign National-1 and required gaining access to retail marijuana licenses in particular States, including Nevada (the “Business Venture”). In early September 2018, PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, KUKUSHKIN, and Foreign National-1 met in Las Vegas, Nevada to discuss the Business Venture. While in Las Vegas, PARNAS, FRUMAN, and KUKUSHKIN also attended a political fundraiser for a State candidate in Nevada (“Candidate-1”). Shortly after that meeting, PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and KUKOSHKIN began to formalize the Business Venture with Foreign National-1 and fund their lobbying efforts, but took steps to hide Foreign National-1’s involvement in the Business Venture, including any political contributions associated with the Business Venture, due to, in KUKUSHKIN’s words, “his Russian roots and current political paranoia about it.”

It appears from state records that Candidate-1 was Republican Adam Laxalt, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018. A spokesman said Laxalt “doesn’t know the man.” Marijuana is legal in Nevada.

  1. To further the Business Venture, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, planned to use Foreign National-1 as a source of funding for donations and contributions to State and federal candidates and politicians in Nevada, New York and other States to facilitate acquisitions of retail marijuana licenses. In or about September and October 2018, CORREIA drafted a table of political donations and contributions, which was subsequently circulated to the defendants and Foreign National-1. The table described a “multi­ state license strategy” to further the Business Venture. The table contemplated approximately between $1 and $2 million in political contributions to federal and State political committees. The table also included a “funding” schedule of two $500,000 transfers. Foreign National-1 then arranged for two $500,000 wires on or about September 18, 2018 and October 16, 2018 to be sent from overseas accounts to a U.S. corporate bank account controlled by FRUMAN and another individual (the “FRUMAN Account”)

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.

  1. LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, then used those funds transferred by Foreign National-1, in part, to attempt to gain influence and the appearance of influence with politicians and candidates. For example, on or about October 20, 2018, PARNAS, FRUMAN, and KUKUSHKIN attended a campaign rally for Candidate-1 in Nevada, at which a different Nevada State candidate was present (“Candidate- 2”), and sent photographs of themselves posing with Candidate-2 to Foreign National-1. Following that event, on or about November 1, 2018, a donation in the amount of $10,000 was made to Candidate- 2 in FRUMAN’s name, but it was funded with funds from Foreign National-1. On or about November 1, 2018, a donation in the amount of $10,000 was made to Candidate-1 in FRUMNA’s name, but it was funded with funds from Foreign National-1.

Candidate-2 is Wes Duncan, who ran for attorney general in 2018 and lost.

  1. Notwithstanding the purported purpose of Business Venture-1 and the donations described above, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, did not timely apply for a recreational marijuana license in September 2018, the then-deadline for such applications in Nevada. On or about October 25, 2018, KUKUSHKIN told Foreign National-1, as well as LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, that they were “2 months too late to the game unless we change the rules,” and noted that they needed a particular Nevada State official, the position for which Candidate-1 was running, to “green light to implement this.” As noted above, FRUMAN made a $10,000 donation, funded by Foreign National-1, to Candidate-1 on or about November l, 2018. On or about November 4, 2018, PARNAS asked KUKUSHKIN to arrange for additional funding from Foreign National-1 to make an additional donation to Candidate-1, to which KUKUSHKIN responded that the $1 million Foreign National-1 had already provided to GEP was “in order to cover all the donations whatsoever.”

The candidates they donated to were running for governor and attorney general. It appears that when they asked for more money, the Russian balked. He or she had already given $1 million. Again, both Laxalt and Duncan lost.

  1. Moreover, subsequent communications between Foreign National-1, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, and DAVID CORREIA, the defendants, confirm the defendants’ use of foreign funds - and, in particular, funds from Foreign National-1 - to make the donations described above. For example, on or about October 30, 2018, Foreign National-1 wrote to PARNAS, FRUMAN, and KUKUSHKIN that he had “fulfilled all my obligations completely,” including “500 [for] Nevada” in order to “work on obtaining licenses [in] these states.” KUKUSHKIN similarly noted in response that “Money transferred by [Foreign National-1] to [GEP] was to support the very specific people & states (per [FRUMAN’s] table) in order to obtain green light for licensing. I haven’t changed any rules of our engagement and was present at all the scheduled meetings with officials in Nevada.” Although PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and Foreign National-1 continued to meet into the spring of 2019, the Business Venture did not come to fruition.

COUNT ONE

(Conspiracy)
  1. From in or about March 2018 through at least in or about November 2018, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, knowingly conspired with each other and with others known and unknown to:

a. Knowingly defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of a department or agency of the United States; to wit, the FEC’s function to administer federal law concerning source and amount restrictions in federal elections, including the prohibitions applicable to straw donors.

They allegedly broke laws that restrict foreigners from donating, that restrict how much a person can donate and that are there to ensure there is transparency in the system.

b. Knowingly and willfully make contributions to candidates for federal office, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees in the names of other persons, aggregating to $25,000 and more in a calendar year, in violation of Title 52, United States Code, Section 30122 and 30109 (a) (1) (A).

By donating in Parnas’ name, Fruman allegedly donated too much money to Protect the House, the Republican committee.

  1. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect the illegal objects thereof, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, and others known and unknown, committed the following overt acts, among others, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere:

a. In or about March 2018, PARNAS committed to making a $125,000 contribution to Committee-3 to attend a fundraising event in the Southern District of New York.

b. In or about May 2018, FRUMAN, and others known and unknown, obtained a private loan, the proceeds of which were used to fund the contribution made in the name of GEP to Committee- 1,

c. In or about May 2018, FRUMAN and PARNAS, and others known and unknown, transferred the proceeds of FRUMAN’s private loan through multiple bank accounts - none of which were in the name of GEP - to conceal the true source of the funds before they were paid to Committee-1.

d. In or about May 2018, PARNAS caused a $325,000 contribution to Committee-1 to be falsely reported in the name of GEP.

Committee-1, again, is the Trump-aligned super PAC America First Action.

e. In or about June 2018, PARNAS made an $11,000 contribution to Committee-3 using funds that belonged to FRUMAN and another individual.

It is not clear how the prosecutors know the money came from Fruman and not Parnas.

f. In or about June 2018, PARNAS used a business credit card registered to a credit card account, with a registered address in the Southern District of New York, belonging to FRUMAN and another individual in order to make a maximum $2,700 contribution to Congressman-l’s reelection campaign.

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and Title 52, United States Code, Sections 30122 and 30109(d) (1) (A) & (D))

COUNT TWO

(False Statements to the FEC)

The Grand Jury further charges:

  1. The Grand Jury incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 19 of this Indictment as though fully set forth herein.
  1. In or about October 2018, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, willfully and knowingly. did make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, to wit, PARNAS and FRUMAN made the materially false statements in their affidavits submitted to the FEC, described in paragraph 19 above, that ‘’a $325,000 contribution to [Committee-1) was made with GEP funds for GEP purposes;” that “GEP is a real business enterprise funded with substantial bona fide capital investment; its major purpose is energy trading, not political activity”; and that a contribution made by PARNAS on or about June 25, 2018 to Congressman-1’s campaign for reelection “was made with a business credit card . . . which [PARNAS] reimbursed.”

(Title 18, United States Code, Sections l00l(a) (2) and 2)

COUNT THREE

(Falsification of Records)

The Grand Jury further charges:

  1. The Grand Jury incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 19 of this Indictment as though fully set forth herein.
  1. ln or about October 2018, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, LEV PARNAS and IGOR FRUMAN, the defendants, willfully and knowingly did falsify and make a false entry in a record and document with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States, and in relation to and in contemplation of any such matter, to wit, PARNAS and FROMAN made the materially false statements in affidavits submitted to the FEC, described in paragraph 19 above, including that ‘’a $325,000 contribution to [Committee-1] . . . was made with GEP funds for GEP purposes;” that “GEP is a real business enterprise funded with substantial bona fide capital investment; its major purpose is energy trading, not political activity”; and that a contribution made by PARNAS on or about June 25, 2018 to Congressman-l’s campaign for reelection “was made with a business credit card . which [PARNAS] reimbursed,” with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation and proper administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of the FEC.

(Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1519 and 2)

COUNT FOUR

(Conspiracy)

The Grand Jury further charges:

  1. The Grand Jury incorporates the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 12 and 20 through 25 of this Indictment as though fully set forth herein.
  1. From in or about June 2018 through at least in or about April 2019, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, and others known and unknown, knowingly conspired with each other and with others known and unknown to:

a. Kowingly defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of a department or agency of the United States; to wit, the FEC’s function to administer federal law concerning source and amount restrictions in federal and State elections, including the prohibitions applicable to foreign nationals and straw donors.

b. Knowingly and willfully make contributions and donations of money, or express or implied promises to make contributions or donations, directly and indirectly, by a foreign national in connection with federal and State elections, aggregating to $25,000 and more in a calendar year, in violation of Title 52, United States Code, Sections 30121 and 30109(a)(1)(A).

c. Knowingly and willfully make contributions to candidates for State and federal office, joint fundraising committees, and independent expenditure committees in the names of other persons, aggregating to $25,000 and more in a calendar year, in violation of Title 52, United States Code, Section 30122 and 30109(a)(1) (A)(D).

  1. In furtherance of the conspiracy and to effect its illegal object, LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, and others known and unknown, committed the following overt acts, among others, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere:

a. On or about September 18, 2018, Foreign National-1 wired $500,000 from a foreign bank account, through the Southern District of New York, to the defendants for purposes of making political contributions and donations.

b. On or about October 16, 2018, Foreign National-1 wired $500,000 from a foreign bank account, through the Southern District of New York, to the defendants for purposes of making political contributions and donations.

c. On or about November 1, 2018, the defendants used funds wired by Foreign National-1 to make maximum donations to two political candidates for State office in Nevada.

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and Title 52, United States Code, Sections 30121, 30122 and 30109(d) (1) (A))

GEOFFREY S. BERMAN

United States Attorney

Berman is the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. His former law partner? Rudy Giuliani. He was a Trump donor, but Trump did not nominate him to his powerful post. Rather, judges in New York selected him when Trump failed to nominate anyone.

1 In fact; the contribution and several other significant contributions made at and around the same time - was made in the name of “Igor Furman” not IGOR FRUMAN, the defendant, in a further effort to conceal the source of the funds and to evade federal reporting requirements.