Sunday, November 1, 2020

Fake anti-fraud company linked to Giuliani indicted for money laundering

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If you’re under federal indictment for money laundering charges, it might be better not to have “Fraud Guarantee” and “Loan Crime Investigation” on your resume.

Lev Parnas — one of the Rudy Giuliani associates indicted on conspiracy charges relating to fraudulent campaign donations, including allegedly steering Russian money into the U.S. political system — has listed two businesses dedicated to rooting out financial misfeasance on his political donation records.

Parnas listed “Fraud Guarantee” and “Loan Crime Investigation Group” as his employers on federal political contribution forms, along with a firm called Global Energy Producers. That third business — ostensibly dedicated to Liquefied Natural Gas deals — was used by Parnas as a corporate conduit or “straw donor” to obscure the true source of campaign donations, in violation of federal election law, a federal indictment alleges.

Parnas and alleged co-conspirator Igor Fruman are associates of Trump lawyer/consigliere Giuliani. The pair were eager to profit from business dealings in Ukraine, and allegedly used illicit political donations as leverage in seeking the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on behalf of local officials who were hostile to her tenure.

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Parnas and Fruman have also been implicated in the Giuliani plot to get Ukrainians to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden. As their lawyer wrote to House investigators last week, “Messrs. Parnas and Fruman assisted Mr. Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump” and “have also been represented by Mr. Giuliani in connection with their personal and business affairs.” The duo had been due to testify today in the House’s impeachment inquiry. They were reportedly arrested at Dulles airport, attempting to flee the country.

The misuse of a fishy front corporation is key to the federal indictment unsealed today. The pair allegedly fraudulently listed Global Energy Partners as the source of a $325,000 donation to a conservative independent expenditure committee using their own funds. Parnas also listed “Global Energy Partners” as his employer on a $2,700 contribution in 2018 to Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). Sessions has been identified as “congressman 1” in the federal indictment, and this donation to him is described as fraudulent. The money, the feds allege, was in reality donated “in Parnas’ name” by alleged conspirator, Fruman.

A review of federal campaign finance records reveals that Parnas listed other questionable — indeed, it seems, defunct — companies for his donation records. He lists “Fraud Guarantee” as his employer for a series of identical $661 donations to roughly twenty Republican state parties — from Alabama to Wyoming — in 2016. Fraud Guarantee’s mission, according to its website, is to “help reduce the risk of fraud as well as mitigate the damage caused by fraudulent acts.”

According to Florida corporate records, the company was incorporated in 2013. However it appears to have been dissolved in 2014 for failing to file an annual report — well before the donations in question. An email to the company’s only listed contact information bounced back Thursday morning.

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Parnas is listed as co-founder and CEO on the company’s website — where he is billed as “a licensed financial professional” with two decades of experience who is “proud of the fact that he enjoyed that tenure without a single professional complaint against his license or business.”

Fraud Guarantee — which purported to market insurance against business fraud — is said to have grown out of Parnas’s business experience. “After seeing the best and the worst of the financial industry, especially the problems caused by investor fraud, of which he himself was a victim,” the bio continues, “Mr. Parnas decided his next business venture would be protecting other investors from losses due to fraud.” Parnas’ co-founder in this venture is listed as David Correia, who was also indicted this week on the federal conspiracy charges.

In another group of donations, Parnas lists a third company name: “Loan Crime Investigation Group.” This entity is cited as his employer for a $3,300.00 donation to the National Republican Congressional Committee, a $5,000.00 donation to the Great America Committee, and a $2,7000 donation to Kevin McCarthy, today the GOP House Minority Leader. These donations were all made on June 29th of last year.

Florida business records record that a firm called The Loan Crime Investigation Group was incorporated in 2008; it was dissolved in 2009 for the same apparent failure to file an annual report. While both Loan Crime Investigation Group and Fraud Guarantee were incorporated in Boca Raton Florida, where Parnas has resided, neither of the company’s initial corporate financial filings name him.

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