Businessman David Correia exits the United States Courthouse in new york, October 16, 2019.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Two businessmen who supposedly worked with partners of President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani to create illegal political contributions are set to be arraigned Thursday in federal court in nyc.
David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin are accused in the indictment of conspiring to make contributions to U.S. candidates — covertly funded by an unnamed Russian federal — to be able to gain a recreational marijuana business enterprise.
They’re charged with a single count of conspiracy. Both guys are U.S. citizens. Kukushkin was born in Ukraine, and Correia was born in America.
Correia, who was traveling in the Middle East when the event was disclosed last week, was arrested Wednesday after flying to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport to turn himself in, NBC News reported.
He had been released from custody later that night on a $250,000 bond after appearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Kukushkin was detained last week, on exactly the exact same day that two other guys in the federal indictment, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were detained at a Washington-area airport with one-way tickets from their country.
Parnas and Fruman, both U.S. citizens born in the former Soviet Union, are both set to be arraigned in New York next Wednesday.
Parnas and Fruman face other charges in the indictment, which alleges they created a shell company and then used it to contribute to political committees, such as pro-Trump super PAC, while hiding that they were the ones making the contributions.
They’re also accused of being involved in an illegal scheme to purchase possible influence with politicians and authorities by funneling foreign currency to candidates and their campaigns.
House Democratic leaders have issued subpoenas to Parnas and Fruman as a part of an impeachment inquiry into Trump based in part on a whistleblower complaint which called Giuliani a “central figure” in an effort to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Parnas and Fruman were ordered by the leaders of three House committees to supply documents and seem to testify within the impeachment probe into Trump.
Giuliani previously said that he had worked together with the two guys as part of his attempts in Ukraine to spur an investigation into the Bidens, NBC reported.
In September 2018, all the four businessmen that are criminally charged in the case met with the Russian national in Las Vegas in pursuit of a strategy to form a recreational marijuana business, which required access to certain state licenses, according to the indictment.
While there, the court record states, Parnas, Fruman and Kukushkin attended a Nevada state political candidate’s fundraiser.
The guys taking steps to conceal the foreign national’s participation in the company venture because of what Kukushkin allegedly called “his Russian roots and current political paranoia about it,” that the indictment says.
Correia allegedly drafted a strategy to make between $1 million and $2 million in political contributions in pursuit of their licenses. The Russian national in Fall 2018 ordered to create two overseas wire transfers of $500,000 into Fruman’s corporate bank accounts. The men then used a few of those funds to make political contributions.