Federal prosecutors in New York asked a judge Wednesday to revoke bail for an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, arguing Lev Parnas should be jailed before trial for providing false financial information to authorities.
The demand came after Parnas, charged with partner Igor Fruman and two others with campaign finance violations, asked a judge to ease the terms of his home confinement, which is a condition of his release on a $200,000 bond.
The prosecutors not only opposed that request but also argued that Parnas be jailed for making “materially misleading and false statements” about his assets and attempting to mislead the pretrial officer supervising him.
Saying Parnas had ample motive to flee, the government lawyers for the second time signaled the likelihood of additional charges being filed against him.
After once valuing his family’s financial holdings at slightly more than $450,000, Parnas later provided federal officials with bank account information, vehicle and cash reports totaling just $43,500, prosecutors wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken.
The Ukrainian-born defendant allegedly gave varying and erroneous additional reports about his assets.
All the while, prosecutors wrote, he failed to disclose a $1 million transfer he received from a bank account in Russia in September, as well as plans to buy a property in Boca Raton, Florida, for about $4.5 million, prosecutors wrote.
“Parnas poses an extreme risk of flight and that risk of flight is only compounded by his continued and troubling misrepresentations to … the government,” prosecutors asserted in their 10-page letter. “Accordingly, the government moves to revoke Parnas’ bail and seeks his remand pending trial.”
An attorney for Parnas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The conspiracy case against Parnas and Fruman accuses them of scheming to circumvent federal law against foreign influence by directing foreign funds to American political campaigns and committees. Two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, were also indicted in the case.
All have pleaded not guilty.
Parnas and Fruman figure in the Trump impeachment inquiry. They helped Giuliani seek damaging information in Ukraine about the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign challengers. They also reportedly assisted Giuliani in pushing for the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was pulled from her post in May.
Giuliani’s dealings with Parnas and Fruman have drawn the scrutiny of federal investigators. USA TODAY reported in October that federal counterintelligence investigators have been looking into the former New York City mayor’s business with the two men since at least early 2019.
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, has said he was unaware of any investigation.