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Giuliani associate Lev Parnas slapped with additional charges

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced new charges on Thursday against Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. Parnas made headlines earlier this year when his attorney released a recording of President Trump telling him he wanted him to "take out" the Ukrainian ambassador. 

Parnas, along with David Correia, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to their business "Fraud Guarantee." The indictment also includes additional campaign finance charges against the defendants.

Parnas, Correia and two other others were charged in November with conspiring to violate the ban on political donations and contributions by foreign nationals. Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, were charged with conspiring to make contributions in connection with federal elections in the names of others, and with making false statements to and falsifying records to obstruct the administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Commission.

Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani in his attempts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. The House of Representatives impeached Mr. Trump in December after months of investigation by House Democrats into the president's efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to pursue investigations that would benefit him politically, including a probe into a company that employed Hunter Biden. Mr. Trump was acquitted of the charges by the Senate. 

Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, and Fruman, originally from Belarus, were arrested on campaign finance charges at Dulles International Airport in October.  

In January, Parnas' attorney provided a recording of Mr. Trump telling Parnas and Fruman in April 2018 that they should "take out" Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

"Get rid of her," Mr. Trump said. "Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it."   

Mr. Trump had previously denied knowing Parnas, despite the existence of photos of the two of them together.   

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