Lev Parnas, a former close friend and ally of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, has been sentenced to prison for 20 months after an investigation found that the businessman funneled over $350,000 to  PACS and Super PACs associated with Donald Trump.

The deals were made to further Parnas’s goal of breaking into the then-booming marijuana industry. Parnas and a co-defendant Andrey Kukushkin were both tried and convicted at a Manhattan court. 

The illegal foreign money was funneled through backdoors and was sent during Parnas and Rudy Giuliani‘s unsuccessful efforts to find incriminating evidence on Joe Biden in Ukraine.

U.S Attorney Damian Williams, who was a part of the investigation, told reporters, “In order to gain influence with American politicians and candidates, they illegally funneled foreign money into the 2018 midterm elections with an eye toward making huge profits in the cannabis business.” 

“Campaign finance laws are designed to protect the integrity of our free and fair elections,” said Williams. “Safeguarding those laws is essential to preserving the freedoms that Americans hold sacred.”

In a separate charge, Parnas was found guilty of funneling illegal money from his associate, Igor Fruman, into Pro-Trump political committees.

After leaving the court, Parnas told the reporters surrounding him, “Obviously, I’m upset. But at this time, I just want to get home to my wife and kids and deal with it. I want to thank my lawyers … they put up an incredible fight. I’ve got to just get home, got to reassess what happened in there, and figure out the next steps.”

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