After his conviction, Lev Parnas says, “I’ve Never Hid From Nobody.”

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After his conviction, Lev Parnas says, “I’ve Never Hid From Nobody.”

After being convicted of federal campaign finance charges on Friday, Rudy Giuliani’s former business colleague Lev Parnas remained free pending sentencing.

After deliberating for almost five hours, a New York jury found Parnas, a 49-year-old Soviet-born businessman from Florida, guilty on multiple charges of illicit campaign contributions. The convictions are expected to be appealed by Parnas. According to The New York Times, he was defiant as he walked out of the Manhattan courthouse, telling supporters that he “never hid from nobody” and “always stood up and stated the truth.”

Parnas allegedly unlawfully donated over $350,000 to Republican lawmakers and campaigns, including two super PACs supporting former President Donald Trump, according to prosecutors. He was also accused of assisting a wealthy Russian businessman who wanted to enter the recreational marijuana market in the United States in making illicit political donations.

Andrey Kukushkin, a co-defendant, was also found guilty on all counts on Friday. Last month, Parnas’ former business partner, Igor Fruman, pled guilty to a related allegation. David Correia, a former co-defendant, pled guilty to two counts in October 2020 and received a sentence of slightly over a year in jail in February.

Prosecutors asked Judge Paul Oetken to put Parnas and Kukushkin in jail after their convictions, but he declined. According to Politico, Oetken stated that “the defendants had sufficiently shown that they are not a flight danger” and had “complied with the restrictions of their pretrial release.”

Prosecutor Hagan Cordell Scotten allegedly claimed during the trial’s closing statements on Thursday that the “goal underlying this conspiracy was influence buying” and that the defendants’ acts were meant to ensure that “the voters would never know whose money was flooding into our elections.”

“They illegally poured foreign money into the 2018 midterm elections in order to gain influence with American lawmakers and candidates with the goal of generating big profits in the cannabis business,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement following the convictions.

“Campaign finance regulations are established to defend the integrity of our free and fair elections—free of foreign interests or influence—and ensuring that those laws are upheld is critical to preserving the liberties that Americans hold dear,” Williams continued.

Parnas, along with his old business partner Fruman, rose to prominence as a significant figure in the in late 2019. This is a condensed version of the information.

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