Giuliani Associates Win Bid for Separate Trial on Fraud Charge
(Bloomberg) -- Associates of Rudy Giuliani will get two trials, one dealing with allegations of political fund-raising violations and the other with claims of defrauding investors in a business venture.
Charges against Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and co-defendant Andrey Kukushkin involving laundering political donations and funneling foreign funds into U.S. campaigns will be tried together, and separately from a trial on one count against Parnas of defrauding investors. On that charge, over a business called Fraud Guarantee, Parnas stands alone after co-defendant David Correia pleaded guilty.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan granted the request, by the trio’s defense, on Wednesday.
Parnas and Fruman, who were charged in 2019, worked with Giuliani in urging the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden, one of Donald Trump’s top Democratic rivals in the 2020 presidential election that Biden ultimately won, over his son’s business interests there.
Giuliani has also been scrutinized in the case, over whether his actions violated U.S. laws on lobbying for foreign interests, and has denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan agreed with the request to handle the fraud charge separately, since there is little connection in the evidence between the two cases.
Oetken said he would address in a separate ruling a request by the defense to suppress evidence from search warrants and dismiss the indictment on the grounds that an email quoted in search warrant applications was protected by attorney-client privilege.
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