Giuliani associate denies hiding Russian payment, asks to stay free on bail

A lawyer for Lev Parnas, who is charged with campaign finance crimes, said the payment was a loan to Parnas’ wife, and that it had been disclosed to authorities before his bail was set.

“At no time did Mr. Parnas make a knowingly false statement,” Parnas’ lawyer, Joseph Bondy, said in a filing in Manhattan federal court.

Parnas, a U.S. citizen who was born in Ukraine, was released on bail after his arrest in October and has been living under house arrest in Florida.

Parnas was charged alongside another Florida businessman, Belarus-born Igor Fruman, with illegally funneling money to a pro-Trump election committee and other politicians. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Last week, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken to jail Parnas. They said he had concealed information about his finances, including a $1 million payment he had received from an account in Russia in September.

The account was in the name of his wife, Svetlana Parnas. Prosecutors said that was an effort to shield his assets.

The prosecutors said Parnas posed an “extreme” risk of fleeing the country, adding that he had “considerable ties abroad and access to seemingly limitless sources of foreign funding.”

In Monday’s court filing, Bondy said that two months of Svetlana Parnas’ banking records, including the $1 million payment, had been disclosed to the government.

Bondy denied that Parnas posed a risk of fleeing, adding that Parnas was cooperating with the Congressional impeachment proceeding against Trump and intended to continue doing so.

“Mr. Parnas has strong incentives to remain with his family, to continue to be cooperative with Congress, and to be actively involved in the defense of (this) case,” Bondy said.

Prosecutors are also investigating payments made to Giuliani, who has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

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