Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) want Rudy Giuliani’s indicted business associate Lev Parnas locked up ahead of trial for lying about his assets and income. Prosecutors made this clear in a Wednesday filing.
Parnas, the Ukrainian-Floridian co-founder of the company Fraud Guarantee (a company 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.
Prosecutors in the SDNY now argue Parnas ought to be considered an “extreme flight risk” because he “made materially misleading and false statements to Pretrial Services and the Government regarding his assets and income” and “misled his supervising Pretrial Services officer in the Southern District of Florida regarding whether the Court had already approved of Parnas’s requested bail modification”:
The Government respectfully writes in opposition to defendant Lev Parnas’s letter motion dated December 4, 2019 seeking a “modification of the terms of his pre-trial release, to allow him to leave his home daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, provided that he avoids airports, boat docks or train terminals” (Dkt. 41). For the reasons set forth herein, the Government opposes Parnas’s request, and further asks the Court to revoke Parnas’s bail and remand him pending trial. It does so upon learning, in the course of preparing its response to Parnas’s motion, that: (i) Parnas made materially misleading and false statements to Pretrial Services and the Government regarding his assets and income; and (ii) Parnas misled his supervising Pretrial Services officer in the Southern District of Florida regarding whether the Court had already approved of Parnas’s requested bail modification. Parnas poses an extreme risk of flight, and that risk of flight is only compounded by his continued and troubling misrepresentations to the Pretrial Services office and the Government. Parnas’s actions in the two months that he has been released, coupled with his substantial risk of flight, have shown that there is no set of conditions that will reasonably ensure his appearance and compliance with the terms of his release. Accordingly, the Government moves to revoke Parnas’s bail and seeks his remand pending trial.
Prosecutors were not shy about repeating that the flight risk was “extreme,” nor were they shy about Parnas’s access to “foreign funding”:
In addition, Parnas’s close ties abroad include connections to Russian and Ukrainian nationals of nearly limitless means, including Foreign National-1 and a Ukrainian oligarch living in Vienna who is currently fighting extradition to this country. Parnas has proven adept at gaining access to foreign funding: in the last three years, Parnas received in excess of $1.5 million from Ukrainian and Russian sources. In sum, given Parnas’s significant, high-level connections to powerful and wealthy Ukrainians and at least one Russian national, he could quickly and easily flee the United States for Ukraine or another foreign country, and recoup the security posted to his bond. It is difficult to overstate the extreme flight risk that Parnas poses.
David Correia, a co-founder of Fraud Guarantee, and Andrey Kukushkin were also ensnared in the criminal probe.
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 a “scheme to funnel foreign money” to Republican candidates (alleged campaign finance violations). Correia and Kukushkin were charged with one count of conspiracy. All defendants have pleaded not guilty.
You can read the rest of the SDNY filing below.
[Image via Stephanie Keith/Getty Images]