A pair of Eastern European businessmen planned to funnel $1 million in foreign money into US elections during the 2018 campaign season through illegal straw donations, a Manhattan prosecutor charged Wednesday as their trial got underway.
Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, and Andrey Kukushkin hatched the donation scheme in an attempt to bolster a marijuana business by donating to candidates who could in turn help them secure licenses needed for the pot enterprise, Assistant US Attorney Aline Flodr said.
“That is what secret foreign money infiltrating American elections looks like,” Flodr told jurors. “That is why we’re here.”
The vast sum of money was donated by Russian businessman Andrey Muraviev — or “Big Andrey” — and paid in two separate