NEW YORK - An associate of Rudy Giuliani who was convicted of campaign finance crimes at trial and later pleaded guilty to a separate fraud charge, but prosecutors on Wednesday recommended that he be ordered to spend over six years in prison.
Lawyers for Lev Parnas made a request to a Manhattan federal judge in papers that were filed publicly Wednesday. The papers were dated June 15 but were kept sealed for a week while redactions were agreed to.
Prosecutors filed their own sentencing arguments Wednesday, saying Parnas should serve at least 6 -- 1 2 years in prison for pumping foreign money into U.S. elections, lying to the Federal Election Commission and defrauding investors of over $2 million to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Parnas has lied and swindled and corrupted for years, prosecutors argued. They said he had put himself above the country, his investors and the public. Parnas, 50, faces sentencing on June 29 after he was convicted in October of six charges of making illegal donations in 2018 to jump start a new energy company and using the wealth of a Russian financier to donate to politicians who might help the launch of a legal recreational-marijuana business.
He pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, saying he conspired with another person to give investors false information about a Florida-based business, Fraud Guarantee.
A company that could protect investors against fraud was promoted as the Fraud Guarantee.
In their presentencing submission, lawyers for the Soviet-born businessman argued that their client deserves leniency because he cooperated with Congress, calling it timely and material. Prosecutors said Parnas provided Congress was in response to a subpoena and falls far short of the extraordinary conduct and cooperation that can earn individuals leniency at sentencing.
Defense lawyers said his efforts to cooperate with federal prosecutors were not successful because they used information that he offered in a bid for a plea deal to thwart his potential trial testimony, rather than to consider his attempt to provide substantial assistance in good faith. The evidence proving Parnas offered them was plainly contradicted by the evidence, and prosecutors countered that information was not fully credible. They said they had serious concerns about Parnas'credibility and candor. Parnas worked with Giuliani to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of President Joe Biden, who was a candidate at the time. Giuliani said he knew nothing about the crimes of Parnas and others.
Giuliani, a former New York City mayor who served as Donald Trump's personal lawyer during his presidency, has not been charged with criminal charges, but federal authorities have acknowledged that he is being investigated to determine whether he has violated a federal law that governs lobbying on behalf of foreign countries or entities.