Igor Fruman, who helped Rudy Giuliani seek damaging information against Joe Biden in Ukraine, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and was also fined $10,000 Friday in an unrelated campaign finance case. As part of the plea, he admitted soliciting a million dollars from a Russian entrepreneur, Andrey Muraviev, to donate to Republicans in Nevada, Florida, and other states as part of an effort to launch a recreational marijuana business.
Fruman was told to report to prison on March 14. He pleaded guilty in September to a single charge of solicitation of a contribution by a foreign national. He was charged in the case along with Lev Parnas, a fellow Florida businessman who helped Giuliani’s attempt to spoil Biden’s quest for the presidency on the Democratic ticket. The pair served as liaisons between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials and business tycoons as the former New York City mayor tried to persuade prosecutors in that country to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, over his work for an energy company.
The inquiry partly involves an examination of whether Giuliani offered to lobby or influence the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian figures. Giuliani has said everything he did in Ukraine was done on Trump’s behalf and there is no reason he would have had to register as a foreign agent.
Russian organized crime figures shouldn't be allowed to donate to Republicans. Moscow McCarthy with convicted Russian mafia associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman who both contributed to McCarthy's campaign. pic.twitter.com/PUfabA9uiT
— Trump Crisis (@RWTrollPatrol) January 14, 2022
Federal prosecutors in New York had urged Judge J. Paul Oetken to sentence Fruman to between three and four years in prison. Defense lawyers had argued he should face no incarceration because he has otherwise led a law-abiding life. Oetken said the crime of soliciting foreign money for U.S. political campaigns was serious and deserved incarceration. “It undermines the integrity of elections in our country,” he said as he announced the sentence. “It undermines democracy.”
Igor Fruman was sentenced to one year and one day for soliciting Russian money into US elections. The judge said it was not the “Manchurian candidate”but it was still a “serious crime.” Fruman was ordered to pay $10,000 fine and to surrender March 14.
— Kara Scannell (@KaraScannell) January 21, 2022
Politicians who got the illegal donations, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, GOP Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, have all said they were unaware the money secretly came from a foreign source. Parnas was convicted in October of campaign finance crimes and awaits sentencing.
U.S. prosecutors haven’t brought any charges in connection with the Ukrainian influence campaign, which was the subject of one of Donald Trump’s impeachment trials, but focused instead on donations that Fruman and Parnas made to U.S. politicians as they sought to build influence in Republican political circles.
I am trying to remember where I heard the name Igor Fruman, who was sentenced to prison today in a foreign money scheme. "'It undermines the integrity of elections in our country," the judge said. That is bad. Who would do such a thing?
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) January 22, 2022