Ex-Giuliani associate Fruman to be sentenced in campaign finance case

FILE PHOTO: Igor Fruman departs the United States Courthouse in Manhattan
Russian-born businessman Igor Fruman departs the United States Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., September 10, 2021.
REUTERS/Go Nakamura

, who helped Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani collect damaging information about Joe Biden before he was elected president, will learn on Friday whether he is headed to prison after pleading guilty to a campaign finance violation.

Prosecutors have recommended that Fruman, 55, spend 37 to 46 months in prison, mirroring recommended federal sentencing guidelines.

Fruman is seeking no time behind bars, saying he has already accepted responsibility and spent more than two years in home confinement since his October 2019 arrest.

The government originally charged the Belarus-born Fruman and another former Giuliani associate, Ukraine-born Lev Parnas, with concealing an illegal $325,000 donation to support Trump’s 2020 failed bid to be re-elected U.S. president.

Fruman’s plea related to an effort to obtain legal, recreational marijuana distribution licenses by donating to candidates in U.S. states where he sought to do business.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) before U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan federal court.

In his allocution, Fruman said he understood that foreign nationals could not contribute to U.S. political campaigns, but nonetheless sent a list of officials to whom he planned to donate to a foreign national backing the cannabis venture.

Prosecutors identified the foreign national as Andrey Muraviev, a Moscow-based businessman.

Muraviev’s identity became known during the October trial of Parnas, which ended with his conviction for violating campaign finance laws related to the marijuana licenses and the donation supporting Trump.

No sentencing date has been set for Parnas. Fruman did not enter a cooperation deal with prosecutors in agreeing to plead guilty.

Before the charges against Fruman and Parnas were brought, Giuliani had enlisted the pair to help uncover dirt on Biden and Biden’s son Hunter during Trump’s re-election bid.

Giuliani has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.