What is one to think when a man charged with multiple federal offenses created a business called Fraud Guarantee, and what is one to think of the lawyer — looking at you, Rudy Giuliani — who profited off of advising that business? The name of the company was always, on its face, bizarre, but the reported reason behind the name is quite something in its own right.
First, some back story.
Parnas, the Ukrainian-Floridian co-founder of the company Fraud Guarantee (a company the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said he was paid $500,000 to advise), was arrested on Oct. 9, along with Igor Fruman. The arrests occurred at Dulles Airport in Virginia, from where they were attempting to leave the U.S. via a one-way ticket. David Correia, a co-founder of Fraud Guarantee, and Andrey Kukushkin were also ensnared in the criminal probe. All defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Parnas and Fruman were each hit with two counts of conspiracy, one count of making false statements, and one count of falsification of records. They also just so happened to be instrumental in Giuliani’s efforts to convince the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. The charges are related to alleged campaign finance violations. Correia and Kukushkin were charged with one count of conspiracy.
Fraud Guarantee, a fraud-insurance company Parnas created in 2013, was a way to escape a checkered past, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Parnas had been accused of fraud in 2011 and, in an attempt to clean up Google search results associated with his name, started a company with fraud in its name. He made it the mission statement of the business to fight fraud and prevent people from falling victim to it.
Per WSJ, it happened in a park one day, and it worked:
Messrs. Parnas and Correia set up Fraud Guarantee in a Boca Raton office park. Mr. Parnas picked the name in part to clean up his Google search results, ensuring that the word “fraud” and his own name would be paired in a positive light, said people familiar with the matter.
Some associates questioned the name, but it worked: Negative search results about the bridge loan and Edgetech soon dropped in Google’s rankings, one of the people said.
Fraud Guarantee’s “origin story” was also notable. According to the Journal, Parnas and Correia told potential investors that they were victims of fraud and were inspired to help others avoid the same fate:
“We were victims ourselves and realized there is truly no recourse for having been defrauded,” Mr. Correia said in an October 2015 email to a potential investor reviewed by the Journal.
[Image via Stephanie Keith/Getty Images]