A U.S. jury will begin deliberations on October 22 in the case of Lev Parnas, who stands accused of funneling money from a Russian financier into U.S. elections in violation of campaign finance laws.
Manhattan prosecutors say Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, used funds from Russian businessman Andrey Muraviev to contribute to candidates while lying about the source of money. "It is plain as day that these defendants agreed to donate Muraviev's money to U.S. political campaigns," Assistant U.S. Attorney Hagan Scotten said in closing arguments. Another Muraviev associate, Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen Andrey Kukushkin, is on trial alongside Parnas.
The defendants' attorneys argued in the trial that the two men were not involved in campaign contributions but rather conducting business, including an energy company and legal marijuana industry startups.
The trial has drawn attention because Parnas and another Soviet-born Florida businessman, Igor Fruman, helped Rudy Giuliani investigate Democrat Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential election campaign. At the time, Giuliani was former President Donald Trump's personal attorney. Fruman pleaded guilty in September to one count of soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreigner.