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Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas pleads guilty to wire fraud

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Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas waits in the office of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to procure tickets to the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 29, 2020. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/6683a8a32aec252d41d1eafa5ef356fa/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas waits in the office of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to procure tickets to the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 29, 2020. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

March 25 (UPI) -- A Florida-based political donor linked to Rudy Giuliani pleaded guilty Friday to wire fraud related to an insurance company he co-founded.

Lev Parnas, 50, appeared by video in a Manhattan hearing to enter the change of plea before U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken.

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Parnas said that between 2012 and 2019, "I agreed with another person to give false information" to potential investors in his start-up company, Fraud Guarantee. He founded the company with co-defendant David Correia, who previously pleaded guilty to the scheme.

"I'm extremely sorry for my actions, your honor," Parnas said in court, according to WABC-TV in New York City.

Parnas and Correia told investors that Fraud Guarantee would help investigate potential business opportunities for signs of fraud.

Prosecutors said the men paid $500,000 to Giuliani, former New York City mayor and personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, to work as a consultant for the supposed company.

Giuliani acknowledged he was paid the consulting fee but said he wasn't aware of any impropriety. He hasn't been charged in the scheme, Politico reported.

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Parnas faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced June 29.

In October, a jury found the Ukraine-born Parnas guilty of six counts of campaign finance charges for using money from a Russian backer to fund political donations to win support for a recreational marijuana business.

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