Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s former business partner, has been found guilty of violating US campaign finance laws.
It reports CNN Friday night.
Giuliani has been former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
Parnas was found guilty on six counts related to “influence purchases” in connection with election campaign financing, the channel writes.
He and his colleague Igor Fruman were arrested at an airport outside Washington in October 2019, and he was among other things charged with violating the law that regulates the financing of election campaigns in the USA.
The jury in a federal court in New York concluded that Parnas was guilty of using money from a Russian supporter to finance political contributions they hoped to exchange for political goodwill for their joint cannabis venture.
Parnas was also found guilty of using money from Fruman – who has previously pleaded guilty – and a fraudulent company to send hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to the Republican Party and pro-Trump committees, and then lie about it to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
In 2018, the FEC flagged a donation related to Parnas of 325,000 dollars, equivalent to around 2.7 million Norwegian kroner, to the Trump-linked “America First Action Super PAC”.
PAC stands for “Political action committee”, and are organizations that collect, use and donate money with the intention of influencing the election.
Parnas now faces up to five years in prison for each of the first five counts he has been found guilty of. 20 years. The total penalty for the points he has been found guilty of is thus up to 45 years in prison.
Parnas himself has denied the allegations against him.
– I have never hidden from anyone, he said outside the courtroom on Friday.
His former business partner Giuliani, who was Trump’s personal lawyer, was not charged in this case.
The case against Parnas has received much attention in the United States because of his role in Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son before the presidential election.