Igor Fruman, a one-time associate of former President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, was sentenced on January 21 to one year and one day in prison for violating campaign finance law.
Prosecutors had recommended that Fruman spend three to four years in prison after pleading guilty last year in the campaign finance case.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken said Fruman’s solicitation of money from a Russian businessman to donate to U.S. political campaigns was serious because it “undermines democracy,” but that the 55-year-old Soviet-born businessman was unlikely to commit a similar offense again.
“This is the sort of crime that’s serious not because it involves any particular financial victims … but because it undermines the integrity of elections in our country,” Oetken said. “It adds to cynicism in the eyes of the public and to the perception that the system may be corrupt.”
Fruman said the two years he spent under home confinement had given him “a chance to reflect on my action.”
“I can assure your honor, my family, the government that I will never appear before yourself or another courtroom again,” he said in court before Oetken read the sentence.
Fruman, who was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, must surrender on March 14.
Prosecutors in New York City had said Fruman and Ukraine-born Lev Parnas, another Florida businessman, used funds from Russian businessman Andrei Muravyov to make political contributions to candidates while lying about the source of money.
Parnas, convicted in October of campaign finance crimes, also awaits sentencing. Another co-defendant, Ukraine-born investor Andrey Kukushkin, was also found guilty at that trial.
Fruman facilitated the illegal foreign campaign contributions after helping former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer, seek damaging information on then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in Ukraine.
Giuliani has insisted he knew nothing about potentially illegal campaign contributions. He has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.
With reporting by AP and Reuters