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Former Giuliani Associate Sentenced To 20 Months For Fraud, Campaign Finance Violations

A Ukrainian-born associate of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes.

Lev Parnas, 50, was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution.

Prosecutors in New York City had sought a six-year sentence. Parnas asked for leniency based on his cooperation with a probe into President Donald Trump’s efforts to get Ukrainian officials to investigate President Joe Biden’s son.

Addressing the court before the sentence was announced, Parnas sobbed and apologized to people who had lost money investing in his business ventures.

“A lot that you heard is true, your honor,” Parnas told the judge. “I have not been a good person my whole life. I’ve made mistakes. And I admit it.”

The criminal case against Parnas was not directly related to his work for Giuliani as he lobbied Ukrainian officials in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election in 2016 to investigate Biden’s son, who served on the board of a Kyiv-based natural gas company.

Instead, it focused on donations Parnas illegally made to a number of U.S. politicians using money from Russian businessman Andrei Muravyov while lying about the source of the money. U.S. law bars foreign individuals from contributing to political campaigns.

Parnas in March pleaded guilty to a separate charge involving an insurance startup that he conned people into investing in and then used much of the money for campaign contributions.

Igor Fruman, a business associate of Parnas who also worked for Giuliani, was sentenced earlier this year to one year in prison for campaign finance law violations. The Soviet-born Fruman also expressed remorse for his crimes.

Giuliani, who served as a personal lawyer to Trump, has said he knew nothing about the crimes and has not been charged.

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Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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