Igor Fruman, one of Rudy Giuliani’s former associates sentenced to a year and a day in campaign finance case

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken said it was a “serious violation” and punishment was needed.

“Our democracy is fragile and depends on people believing in it,” Oetken said.

The sentence was less than what federal prosecutors considered an appropriate sentence for Fruman’s “central role” in the scheme. Prosecutor Hagan Scotten asked the judge to sentence Fruman within the sentencing guidelines range of 37 to 46 months, citing the “serious damage” his actions have done to public confidence in a fair electoral system.

Prosecutors also asked for a fine ranging from $15,000 to $150,000.

Fruman and fellow Giuliani associate Lev Parnas were arrested in 2019 on multiple campaign finance charges while boarding a flight to Europe on a one-way ticket. They were working with Giuliani, then President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on his efforts to dig up dirt on his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.
In September, Fruman pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting foreign donors in US campaigns. The following month, Parnas was found guilty of six counts related to the foreign donor and a straw donation scheme. He faces another lawsuit for defrauding investors of a company called Fraud Guarantee. Parnas pleaded not guilty.

In a statement read to the court, Fruman said: “Over the past 835 days, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my actions that brought me before you. It is a shame that will live with me forever. , but I can assure you, my family, and the government that I will never again appear before you or any other courtroom.” He ended by thanking Oetken, and he was accompanied by his four children and walked out of the courtroom with his arm around his young daughter.

Todd Blanche, a lawyer for Fruman, said in a statement that his client “is relieved to now be able to put the last few years behind him and get back to working and supporting his family in the country he loves.”

Prior to Friday’s sentencing, Fruman’s lawyers had tried to distinguish his case from other efforts to influence the election results.

“This is not a case of Mr. Fruman embarking on an effort to influence the outcome of the US election using foreign money,” they wrote in a court filing. “Mr. Fruman solicited money from a foreign national to start a business which included a business strategy of supporting politicians to gain visibility. Although this solicitation is something Mr. Fruman should not have done , it is distinct from solicitation cases where the defendant’s primary objective is to influence elections using foreign money.”

In addition to his jail term, Fruman was fined $10,000 and ordered to go to jail by March 14. Fruman requested to serve his sentence at the Otisville Correctional Center in upstate New York, where former Trump attorney Michael Cohen served his sentence. Judge Oetken said he would recommend it, but ultimately the Federal Bureau of Prisons will make the decision.

This story was updated with additional information on Friday.

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