An associate of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pleaded guilty on Friday in New York federal court to one count of soliciting campaign contributions from a foreign national.
Igor Fruman, 56, made the deal with prosecutors as he faced multiple charges alleging he illegally funneled money from foreign investors into U.S. campaigns. Indicted in 2019, Fruman was charged with conspiracy to violate the ban on foreign donations to federal and state elections, making false statements, and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission. He pleaded not guilty to each of the charges.
Another associate of Giuliani’s, Lev Parnas, was also indicted on the same charges and pleaded not guilty. He will go to trial in October.
Fruman told the court Friday that two years ago, he was in contact with a foreign national who was a prospective investor in his new business. The new business would buy cannabis licenses in states that were legalizing marijuana . While in contact, he sent a list of possible donations to politicians in those states, which constituted solicitation of a contribution.
To be convicted of a foreign donation statute, the guilty party must know his actions were illegal.
“I had little experience but generally understood foreign nationals and individuals who are not American citizens are not allowed to make political donations in the United States,” Fruman said. “I deeply regret my actions and apologize to the court.”
The plea did not include an agreement to cooperate with the government, according to CNN .
Fruman and Parnas helped Giuliani hunt for damaging information on Hunter Biden’s alleged dealings in Ukraine while he was on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019.
Giuliani himself is facing an investigation into whether he illegally lobbied for Ukrainian officials while investigating Biden. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The date for Fruman’s sentencing has been set to Jan. 21. He faces up to five years in prison for the charge to which he pleaded guilty.
Author : Misty Severi