U.S. prosecutors seek to jail Giuliani associate in campaign finance case

By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to jail an associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani while he awaits trial, saying he lied about his wealth when he negotiated his bail.

Reuters December 12, 2019 07:10:10 IST
U.S. prosecutors seek to jail Giuliani associate in campaign finance case

US prosecutors seek to jail Giuliani associate in campaign finance case

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge to jail an associate of U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani while he awaits trial, saying he lied about his wealth when he negotiated his bail.

The prosecutors said in a motion filed in Manhattan federal court that Lev Parnas, who is charged with campaign finance crimes, poses an "extreme risk of flight."

Parnas, a U.S. citizen who was born in Ukraine, was released on bail after his arrest in October and has been living under house arrest in Florida.

Joseph Bondy, a lawyer for Parnas, said he would respond to the prosecutors in a court filing.

Parnas was charged alongside another Florida businessman, Belarus-born Igor Fruman, with illegally funneling money to a pro-Trump election committee and other politicians. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors accused Parnas and Fruman of using a shell company to donate $325,000 to a pro-Trump election committee and of raising money for former U.S. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas as part of an effort that was ultimately successful to have the president remove Marie Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine.

Prosecutors said in their filing on Wednesday that Parnas had concealed significant financial information while negotiating his bail package, including income from a law firm and a $1 million payment he had received from an account in Russia in September.

They said Parnas has "considerable ties abroad and access to seemingly limitless sources of foreign funding," having raised $1.5 million from "Ukrainian and Russian sources" in the last three years.

Parnas' connections include an unnamed Ukrainian "oligarch" living in Vienna and fighting extradition to the United States, according to prosecutors. That description matches Dmytro Firtash.

Prosecutors also said that Parnas falsely told an officer supervising his bail in Florida that a judge had effectively ruled he should be allowed to leave his house.

They said that Parnas' incentive to flee had become stronger since his arrest because he remains under investigation and is likely to be charged with additional crimes.

Prosecutors are also investigating payments made to Giuliani, who has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Giuliani has emerged as a key figure in congressional impeachment proceedings against Trump, in which Democrats have accused the Republican president of abusing his power to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and Biden's son Hunter. Trump has called the impeachment a witch hunt.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson; Additional reporting by Karen FreifeldEditing by Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.