A Florida man who helped Rudy Giuliani seek damaging information against Joe Biden in Ukraine was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $10,000 Friday in an unrelated campaign finance case. Igor Fruman was told to report to prison March 14, per the AP. He pleaded guilty in September to a single charge of solicitation of a contribution by a foreign national. As part of the plea, Fruman admitted soliciting a million dollars from a Russian entrepreneur, Andrey Muraviev, to donate to Republicans in Nevada, Florida, and other states as part of an effort to launch a recreational marijuana business.
Federal prosecutors in New York had urged Judge J. Paul Oetken to sentence Fruman to between three and four years in prison. Defense lawyers had argued he should face no incarceration because he has otherwise led a law-abiding life. Oetken said the crime of soliciting foreign money for US political campaigns was serious and deserved incarceration. "It undermines the integrity of elections in our country," he said as he announced the sentence. "It undermines democracy." Fruman was charged in the case along with Lev Parnas, another Florida businessman who helped Giuliani's attempt to spoil Biden's quest for the presidency on the Democratic ticket.
The pair served as liaisons between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials and business tycoons as the former New York City mayor tried to persuade prosecutors in that country to investigate Biden's son, Hunter, over his work for an energy company. US prosecutors haven't brought any charges in connection with the Ukrainian influence campaign, which was the subject of one of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trials, but focused instead on donations that Fruman and Parnas made to US politicians as they sought to build influence in Republican political circles. Parnas was convicted in October of campaign finance crimes and awaits sentencing.
Politicians who got the illegal donations, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, have said they were unaware the money secretly came from a foreign source. Muraviev wasn't charged in the case. Giuliani, who worked for Trump as a personal attorney, faces a continuing investigation into whether he was required to register as an agent of a foreign government during his dealings with Ukraine authorities. Fruman, 55, the father of four children, told the judge Friday he'd reflected on his crime. "It's a shame that will live with me forever," he said through a white face mask as several family members watched from wooden benches in an area for spectators.
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