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Lev Parnas is 47 years old, born in Ukraine. He was arrested while trying to leave the United States. Businessmen linked to the Trump-Ukraine scandal and who were arrested Thursday by federal authorities in Virginia visited Israel last year as part of a group that met with U.S. Ambassador David Friedman.
Parnas and Fruman are close associates of Rudy Giuliani, the Trump lawyer who led the president’s attempts to recruit the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of former vice president and candidate to nominate nominee Democratic front-runner For 2020, Joe Biden.
Both were scheduled to appear before Congress Thursday about their work with Giuliani on the Ukrainian issue and were arrested at Dulles airport as they tried to leave the country. The two men have been charged with violations of campaign finance related to a donation of 325,000 euros to a political action committee in support of Trump’s re-election. Prosecutors say Parnas and Fruman conspired to make illegal contributions to avoid the federal campaign contribution limit. According to Haaretz.com.
The schemes of Parnas and Fruman are a little difficult to follow. Prosecutors have charged them, as well as two other men, with conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsifying documents. “Protecting the integrity of elections and protecting our elections from foreign illegal influences are key functions of our campaign finance laws,” said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the United States Southern Borough of New York, at a press conference on Thursday.
The indictment states that Parnas and Fruman “tried to advance their financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official they were working with” and took steps to hide it from third parties, including creditors. They created a limited liability company, Global Energy Producers, and “intentionally caused some large contributions to report on behalf of GEP rather than in their name,” according to the indictment.
Prosecutors allege that the two men wrongly claimed that the contributions came from a liquefied natural gas company. At that point, the company had no significant revenue or assets, according to the indictment.
The PAC’s large donation in May 2018 was part of a flurry of political spending related to Parnas and Fruman, with at least 478,000 in donations flowing into GOP campaigns and PACs in just over two months. Parnas and Fruman received the Chovevei Sion Award at a National Council of Young Israel dinner in March, which they attended with Giuliani, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Lev Parnas Wife
He married Svetlana Parnas in 2012 and they share five children. He is the son of Lev Parnas, Aaron Parnas, an intern at Rudy Giuliani’s former law firm. In addition, Svetlana Parnas is about 31 years old.