Russian oligarch Andrey Muraviev indicted, linked to Trump donors
Lev Parnas arrived at Federal Court in New York City on December 17, 2019.
Getty Images| Getty Images
Russian oligarch linked to men previously charged with making an illegal donation to a political action committeeFor former President Donald TrumpAuthorities revealed Monday that he was indicted in New York by a federal grand jury for using the men to funnel donations to politicians.
Andrey Muradiev, an oligarch was known publicly to have received political donations on his behalf from Lev Parnas (and Igor Fruman), former associates with Trump’s exlawyer Rudy Giuliani for the purpose of obtaining cannabis licenses.
However, it wasn’t known until Monday whether Muraviev was charged with Fruman (Soviet-born) and Parnas (Soviet-born). The U.S. District Court, Manhattan only opened it Monday with Muraviev’s signature.
U.S. attorney Damian Williams claimed that “the Southern District in New York” is dedicated to fighting foreign interference with elections.
Fruman, Parnas, and Giuliani worked together to find damaging information regarding President Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine in 2019, and 2020. Biden emerged then as the leading contender to Trump in the White House.
Muraviev is believed to still be at large. He is being accused of sending $1 million to Fruman, Parnas and others to pay for political contributions to November 2018, in preparation of the 2018 elections.
Prosecutors allege that Muraviev was paid the money to boost the chance of Muraviev, and the other conspirators, obtaining the cannabis business licenses. According to prosecutors, those co-conspirators were Fruman, Parnas and Andreykukushkin.
Foreign nationals cannot make political contributions in the United States.
Muraviev was able to use Muraviev’s money to fund and reimburse federal and state political contributions in Florida, Nevada and Texas. Muraviev also agreed to make donations to New York and New Jersey politicians. Williams’ office said in a statement.
Prosecutors say that Muraviev’s money sent was more than $150,000 and it was siphoned from a Fruman brother-controlled bank account. It ended up going to Republican Adam Laxalt. In 2018, he was running to be Nevada’s governor.
Men in this scheme did not realize the potential for marijuana business ventures.
Muraviev will be charged with two crimes: conspiracy to make payments and donations in the name and by foreign nationals; and contributing by foreign nationals. The maximum penalty for both charges is five years imprisonment.
Fruman pleaded guilty in September to soliciting U.S. campaign contributionsMuraviev is a Muraviev foreign citizen.
Prosecutors dropped all charges against him in exchange for his guilty plea. He was accused of illegally donating to a Trump Super PAC. Fruman was sentenced in January to one-year imprisonment
Parnas and Kukushkin were convicted at trial in Manhattan federal court in October of using Muraviev’s moneyTo make illegal contributions to the marijuana business.
Parnas was also convicted for making separate illegal contributions to Republican-supporting political action committees. Contributions included $325,000 to Trump Super PAC.
Parnas, Kukushkin and others are still awaiting sentencing.
A fourth defendant, Parnas’ former business partner David Correia, pleaded guilty in 2020 to a federal chargerelated to lying about where the money came from for Trump PAC.
Correia falsely stated on an Federal Elections Commission form that $325,000 of his campaign contributions came from Parnas-Fruman’s company, when in fact it was a Fruman mortgage.
Parnas also plead guilty to his conspiracy to defraud their investors by forming a fraud protection company called Fraud Guarantee.
Correia, who was sentenced in early 2021 to a year in prison,Originally, he was indicted along with three other men for the illegal donation scheme involving money from Muraviev.
Giuliani was not charged by any of these men but received $500,000 in 2018, for work at Fraud Guarantee. He describes it as “a mix of business advisory and consulting consistent with my company’s activities and legal advice.”