Former Giuliani Fruman associate to be convicted in campaign finance case

Russian-born businessman Igor Fruman leaves the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York, United States, September 10, 2021.

REUTERS/Go Nakamura

, who helped Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani gather damaging information about Joe Biden before he was elected president, will learn on Friday if he is heading to jail after pleading guilty to a fundraising violation. the country.

Prosecutors have advised that Fruman, 55, is spending 37 to 46 months in prison, reflecting recommended federal sentencing guidelines.

Fruman is not looking to stay behind bars, saying he has already accepted responsibility and spent more than two years under house arrest since his arrest in October 2019.

The government initially accused Fruman, born in Belarus, and another former Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, born in Ukraine, of concealing an illegal donation of $325,000 to support Trump’s failed 2020 bid for to be re-elected President of the United States.

Fruman’s plea linked to an effort to obtain legal recreational marijuana distribution licenses by donating to candidates in the US states where he sought to do business.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. EST (19:00 GMT) before U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan Federal Court.

In his remarks, Fruman said he understood foreign nationals could not contribute to US political campaigns, but nonetheless sent a list of officials whom he planned to donate to a foreign national supporting the cannabis company. .

Prosecutors identified the foreign national as Andrey Muraviev, a Moscow-based businessman.

Muraviev’s identity became known during Parnas’ October trial, which ended with his conviction for violating campaign finance laws related to marijuana licensing and donation supporting Trump.

No sentencing date has been set for Parnas. Fruman did not enter into a cooperation agreement with prosecutors by agreeing to plead guilty.

Before the charges against Fruman and Parnas were brought, Giuliani had enlisted the couple to help uncover the dirt on Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter, during Trump’s re-election bid.

Giuliani has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.