Manhattan federal prosecutors asked a judge late Wednesday to revoke Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas’ bail package and detain him pending trial. The unexpected move came after Parnas allegedly lied to the government and to his pretrial services officer about the extent of his financial assets and about whether a judge had already approved a change in the conditions of his release.
Saying that Parnas’ behavior “strongly suggest[s] a plan or intent to flee,” prosecutors cited a September 2019 deposit of $1 million into a Parnas-linked bank account from a bank account in Russia as an example of financial assets that the Giuliani associate failed to disclose to the government as part of his bail package.
Prosecutors accuse Parnas of intentionally downplaying his assets to the government after his October 2019 indictment in a bid to get a less burdensome bail package. He was arrested before his departure from Dulles International Airport on an international flight with a one-way ticket.
Prosecutors alleged that Parnas has “seemingly limitless access to foreign funds,” making him a “flight risk” who needs to be detained immediately.
Parnas faces criminal charges relating to allegations of evading campaign finance requirements in a bid to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars into GOP campaigns around the country. The Ukraine-born Miami resident has been a nearly nonstop presence in the orbit of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani for the past two years, traveling with him to France, Poland, and around the United States for campaigning in the 2018 midterms.
Prosecutors wrote that Parnas has “traveled repeatedly to Ukraine, and met with numerous Ukrainian government officials, including officials at the very highest level of government” over the past two years.
Parnas traveled to Ukraine with his longtime associate Igor Fruman to help Giuliani pressure Ukraine into manufacturing dirt on the Bidens and about the prosecution of Paul Manafort, based in part on financial records from his work in the former Soviet republic.
Prosecutors alleged that Parnas was traveling abroad “on a nearly monthly basis in 2019,” and that he “took circuitous travel routes that obscured his final destination, such as by departing the U.S. for one country, but returning from a different country on a different airline.”
They also allude to his work for Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, a gas billionaire currently stranded in Vienna as he fights extradition on a Chicago federal indictment.
“Parnas’s close ties abroad include connections to Russian and Ukrainian nationals of nearly limitless means, including Foreign National-1 and a Ukrainian oligarch living in Vienna who is currently fighting extradition to this country,” the filing reads. “Parnas has proven adept at gaining access to foreign funding: in the last three years, Parnas received in excess of $1.5 million from Ukrainian and Russian sources.”
Prosecutors alleged that Parnas lied about the amount he received for his work as an “interpreter” for an unnamed law firm. That amount was $200,000, prosecutors said, and not $50,000, as Parnas had allegedly indicated.
Parnas was reportedly hired to work for the firm of Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing as part of an agreement with Firtash, who Parnas reportedly introduced to the pair of Trumpworld attorneys. Parnas’s fee would amount to one-fifth of the $1 million that Firtash reportedly paid the firm.
Manhattan feds alleged that Parnas knows “he is under investigation for additional crimes, and that it is likely that he will be charged with additional offenses.”
In addition to allegedly lying about his finances, prosecutors accused Parnas of telling his probation officer that a Manhattan federal judge had already modified his bail package.
“Judge wants us to get together to work out a deal to possibly give him some time out of the house,” the filing quotes a South Florida probation officer as recalling of a conversation with Parnas.
Read the filing here:
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