Natives of Belarus, Ukraine charged with illegally funneling cash to pro-Trump group

FBI agents arrested Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, comers from the former Soviet republics, on October, 10 at Dulles International Airport as they were leaving the country with one-way tickets.

Igor fruman (L) and Lev Parnas (R). Photo: EPA

“Two foreign-born Florida businessmen who have helped President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate political rival Joe Biden were arrested in a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates, prosecutors said on Thursday,” Reuters reports.

According to the judge’s decision, the two entrepreneurs may be released on $1 mln bail each and on recognisance not to leave the USA; in this case, they will be put under house arrest.

The suspects illegally donated $325,000 to a number of organizations linked to the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign HQ, Attorney Jeffrey Berman said. In addition, they were trying to exert political influence by not only pursuing their own financial goals, but also by defending interests a Ukrainian official who was seeking the resignation of the US ambassador to Ukraine.

Ukrainian-born Lev Parnas and his parents moved to the United States in 1976 when the boy was only four years old. In the early 90s, he attempted to go into business selling domestic electronic equipment and transporting goods from the US in former Soviet republics. Then he worked as a financial broker.

His partner Igor Fruman was born in Belarus; he moved the US in the 80s, but spent most of his life in Ukraine. In 2005, he married Yelizaveta Naumova, a native of Odessa, and started business activities there.

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