Soviet-born businessman Lev Parnas recently received $1 million from Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, it was revealed in court Tuesday during a debate over whether he should remain free on bail while awaiting trial on charges he tried to inject foreign influence into USA elections.
An attorney for Parnas also said $1 million was wired from Russian Federation to a bank account belonging to his wife as a loan, while federal prosecutor Rebekah Donaleski said the money was sent by Firtash.
Judge Paul Oetken said that Parnas may have "violated the spirit of what was requested" when he filled out his financial disclosure forms, but declined to revoke bail, saying he wasn't sure it rose to the level "warranting revocation of bail". "Mr. Parnas has completely burned those bridges".
In addition to not disclosing the $ 1 million payment, Donaleski said Parnas had strangled $ 200,000 in income from a United States law firm representing Firtash and failed to disclose that he had recently deposited a home in $ 4.5 million in Boca Raton, Florida. He remains under house arrest in Florida on a $1 million bond.
Firtash - who Bondy has said his client was directed by Giuliani to work with in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden - is now fighting extradition to the USA to face racketeering charges. The payment originated from a New York-based lawyer Charles Gucciardo as a loan to Parnas, Gucciardo's attorney told ABC News. Parnas had not made any "clear or direct misstatement" about his finances, Oetken said.
A lawyer for Parnas, Joseph Bondy, identified Firtash's attorney as Swiss national Ralph Oswald Isenegger and said that Isenegger had asked for the money back.
Parnas and an associate, Igor Fruman, worked with Giuliani to try to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of Democrat Joe Biden. The Judge said he did not believe the defendant intentionally misled the government. Firtash has not been extradited to the United States, and continues to fight that.
Firtash, who has also been linked to Russian organized crime, was indicted in 2014 for bribing Indian officials to get a lucrative mining deal to sell titanium to Boeing, according to federal prosecutors in IL.
Prosecutors also said on Tuesday that Parnas had concealed $200,000 in income he earned working for Firtash's law firm, diGenova & Toensing.
A Firtash spokesman said in October that the Ukrainians had no other contractual or commercial relationship with Parnas or Fruman. The prosecutor justified this with the assertion that Parnas had access to "limitless wealth" from foreign benefactors and could in any case escape from the country. He said Parnas had to hire armed security guards to take his children to school for fear of threats from Igor Kolomoisky, an oligarch and supporter of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Manhattan federal prosecutors said in court on Tuesday that the money had been "papered over" as an unsecured loan, and suggested that it was, in fact, "income".
Much of their source of funding has been shrouded in mystery, but prosecutors suggest Parnas has "considerable ties overseas", particularly in Ukraine, and access to "seemingly limitless sources of foreign funding", as they note that Parnas doesn't appear to own any property within the United States aside from two vehicles. The two also called for dismissal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.