Igor Fruman, one of Rudy Giuliani’s former associates who helped dig up damaging information on Joe Biden before he was elected president, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for violating campaign finance law. He was also fined $10,000 in the campaign finance case and his time behind bars comes on top of the more than two years he spent in home confinement.
Fruman, who must surrender to prison by March 14, had pleaded guilty in September to a charge of soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreign national by asking a Russian tycoon for $1 million. When he handed the sentence of 12 months and one day, U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken said Fruman’s action “undermines democracy” and can make people distrust elections. “This is the sort of crime that’s serious not because it involves any particular financial victims … but because it undermines the integrity of elections in our country,” Oetken said. “It adds to cynicism in the eyes of the public and to the perception that the system may be corrupt.”
Federal prosecutors had called on Oetken to sentence Fruman to somewhere between three and four years in prison, while defense lawyers said he shouldn’t face any time behind bars. Fruman told the judge he had time to reflect on his crime. “It’s a shame that will live with me forever,” he said. “But I can assure you, my family, and the government that I will never appear before yourself or another courtroom again.”
Fruman had been arrested in 2019 at Dulles International Airport alongside Lev Parnas as they were both about to leave the country. The Belarus-born Fruman and the Ukraine-born Parnas faced multiple campaign-finance charges. The two men had also been connected to Giuliani, who had enlisted them to help try to dig up dirt on Biden and convince prosecutors in Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden. Prosecutors haven’t brought forward any charges relating to the Ukraine efforts that emerged during the 2020 presidential campaign. Parnas was convicted in October of violating campaign finance laws. Giuliani has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.