Capitol Police check the electronic ankle bracelet of Lev Parnas at the Dirksen Building at the Senate impeachment trial of then-President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., on January 29, 2020. A federal judge sentenced Parnas to 20 months in prison for campaign finance schemes and wire fraud. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
June 29 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a Florida-based political donor linked to Rudy Giuliani to 20 months in prison for campaign finance schemes.
Lev Parnas' sentencing comes eight months after a jury found him guilty of six counts of campaign finance criminal charges and three months after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to an insurance company he co-founded.
"Parnas will now serve time in prison for his many crimes," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.
"Not content to defraud investors in his business, Fraud Guarantee, out of more than $2 million dollars, Parnas also defrauded the American public by pumping Russian money into U.S. elections and lying about the source of funds for political contributions. My office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who put their personal and financial gain above their country and their investors."
In October, a jury found Parnas guilty for a scheme in which he used money from a Russian backer to fund political donations to win support for a recreational marijuana business.
He also was convicted of lying to the Federal Election Commission about funneling political contributions from Igor Fruman and a fake company to pro-Donald Trump committees, including a $325,000 contribution to the America First Action Super PAC.
In March, Parnas told the court 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.
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 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.
Jonna Lorenz contributed to this report.