MANHATTAN (CN) – A South Florida man implicated in the campaign-finance probe that has ensnared Ukrainian business associates of Rudy Giuliani turned himself in Wednesday to face criminal charges.
Federal prosecutors confirmed this morning that David Correia, 44, flew into John F. Kennedy Airport, returning from a trip in the Middle East, to answer an indictment that was unsealed last week in New York’s Southern District.
The indictment describes Correia as a business partner of Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, two Ukrainians charged with using straw donors to launder foreign money into U.S. elections through limited liability companies. Another defendant, Ukraine-born marijuana businessman Andrey Kukushkin, was arrested last week in California.
In fall 2018, the indictment alleges, the defendants had plans to form a recreational marijuana business that would be funded by an unnamed foreign national.
Noting that the venture required gaining access to retail marijuana licenses in particular states, including Nevada and New York, prosecutors said Correia, Fruman and Parnas made political donations on behalf of their foreign associate to curry favorable policies.
Prosecutors quote Kukushkin in their indictment as taking measures to conceal the foreign national’s involvement with the marijuana company and its political donations because of “his Russian roots and current political paranoia about it.”
The recreational marijuana business venture never came to fruition, the indictment states.
Like Correia, Parnas and Fruman were arrested last Wednesday at the airport, but prosecutors say they had bought one-way tickets to Frankfurt out of the Washington, D.C.-area’s Dulles International Airport.
Correia was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart Aaron in Manhattan on Wednesday evening and will be arraigned alongside Kukushkin on Thursday afternoon. Parnas and Fruman will appear for a pretrial hearing before U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken on Oct. 23.
Represented at his bail presentment by defense attorneys Bill Harrington and Jeffrey Marcus, Correia was released Wednesday on a $250,000 personal-recognizance bond. Marcus, an attorney with Miami firm Marcus Neiman & Rashbaum, confirmed that Correia had surrendered voluntarily.
Kukushin was presented last Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in the Northern District of California.Follow @jruss_jruss
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