Lev Parnas, a former associate of Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Rudy Giuliani, was sentenced to 20 months in prison Wednesday for violating campaign financing laws in the 2018 election.
Parnas, a U.S. citizen born in Soviet Ukraine, was found guilty by a Manhattan federal court jury in October.
Alongside associate Andrey Kukushkin, the two were convicted of “conspiring to manipulate the United States political system for their own financial gain.”
“Not content to defraud investors in his business out of more than $2 million, Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into US elections and lying about the source of funds for political contributions,” Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Parnas was arrested at a Washington airport in October 2019, as Trump and associates such as Giuliani were facing scrutiny over attempts to get authorities in Kyiv to deliver inside information about Joe Biden and business dealings there.
That investigation eventually led to Trump’s first impeachment proceedings, which ended with him being acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate.
Parnas, who pleaded not guilty, was accused of concealing the real origin of contributions he made to several candidates in U.S. local and federal elections in 2018, including a $325,000 donation to America First Action, a political organization supporting Trump.
Prosecutalso chors at arged thsome of the contributions to Republican campaigns in the state of Nevada made by Parnas were actually from a Russian businessman, in violation of a ban on accepting election financing from foreign nationals.