With the names of business holdings such as Fraud Guarantee and Mafia Rave boasting almost unlimited criminal potential, it’s a little underwhelming that Rudy Giuliani’s clients Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested for relatively boilerplate campaign-finance violations last week. According to an indictment from the Southern District of New York, in 2018 the pair — who helped Giuliani look for dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine — obscured the source of a $325,000 donation made to the pro-Trump super-PAC America First, using a natural-gas company as a front to hide that the money actually came from “a private lending transaction between Fruman and third parties.”
The potentially illegal behavior does not stop with Parnas and Fruman: On October 11, California businessman Andrey Kukushkin was arrested for his role in a scheme, along with Parnas and Fruman, to funnel $10,000 in foreign money to state candidates in Nevada to help facilitate an unnamed Russian businessman’s plan to obtain commercial marijuana licenses. And today, a fourth man, David Correia, was arrested by the FBI at JFK airport in New York, where he came to turn himself in.
Correia is allegedly involved in the effort to inject foreign money into Nevada politics. Though he has not been indicted in the case involving the America First donation, he does have multiple points of contact with the organizations under investigation. Correia is the chief operating officer of Parnas’s Fraud Guarantee — which helps clients “reduce and mitigate fraud” and has paid Giuliani $500,000 for his work for the company since 2018 — and is an officer at Global Energy Partners, the group that funneled $325,000 to the pro-Trump super-PAC that investigators in New York determined was foreign cash.
Though Giuliani has denied wrongdoing in the matter, his business relationship with associates like Parnas, Fruman, and Correia are part of the federal investigation into his conduct in Ukraine. On Wednesday, CNN reported that the investigation is also focused on possible counterintelligence concerns that his business ties may have created.