Russian-born Igor Fruman, a Florida businessman who helped former Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani search for dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine ahead of the 2020 election has been sentenced to a year in prison for an unrelated campaign finance charge.
Fruman will also have to pay a $10,000 fine.
He was ordered to report to prison on March 14, 2022. In September he pleaded guilty to a single charge of solicitation of a contribution by a foreign national.
In his plea, he admitted to soliciting a million dollars from Russian businessman Andrey Muraviev. The money was intended to be used as a donation to Republicans in Nevada, Florida, and other states to gain their backing for a recreational marijuana business.
Fruman’s sentence could have been far worse – federal prosecutors were pushing Judge Paul Oetken to give him between three and four years in prison, according to SFGate.
His defense attorneys argued that he should not face any prison time because he does not have a criminal record.
Lev Parnas, another Florida businessman who assisted Giuliani in his search for compromising information on the Bidens, was also charged in the case. He was convicted in October and is still awaiting sentencing.
The men acted as go-betweens for Giuliani and Ukrainian officials and business leaders. The former mayor of New York wanted the country to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, and his work at an energy company based in Ukraine.
None of the men involved in that scheme have faced related charges from federal prosecutors. They opted instead to focus on their campaign finance violations.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt both received funding from the illegal Russian donations, though both men have claimed they were unaware of the money’s source.
Though Giuliani was not caught up in the campaign finance investigation, he is facing an ongoing inquiry into whether he was obligated to register as an agent of a foreign government due to his dealings with Ukraine.
That investigation hinges on whether or not Giuliani offered to lobby or influence Trump for the Ukrainian leaders. The president’s former lawyer has previously said everything he did in Ukraine was for Trump, and as such he would have no reason to register as a foreign agent.