Giuliani associate Lev Parnas can’t afford defense attorney, filing says

A defense attorney for Lev Parnas (left) wants off the case, saying the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani can't afford to pay him. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Dec. 26 (UPI) — One of two attorneys representing Lev Parnas, an associate of presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani, has asked to be removed from the case due to a payment issue, a court filing Tuesday said.

Attorney Edward MacMahon made the request of Judge J. Paul Oetken in a filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, describing concern for Parnas’ ability to pay for his legal defense.

“Parnas’ apparent ability to fund his defense has diminished. It thus would constitute a significant hardship for Mr. Parnas to continue being represented by two attorneys in this matter,” MacMahon wrote in Tuesday’s filing.

Parnas and his business partner Igor Furman were arrested Oct. 9 and charged with conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsifying records as part of a supposed scheme to “funnel foreign money to U.S. candidates.”

Prosecutors say Parnas also played a role in back-channel attempts by Giuliani to pressure Ukrainian officials to publicly announce an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — a move that ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment in the House this month.

Parnas’ other attorney, Joseph Bondy, indicated he would continue to represent the Ukrainian-born businessman.

The defendant’s source of funds was also the subject of a filing on Dec. 11, in which prosecutors accused him of lying about the extent of his resources and sought, unsuccessfully, to revoke his bail. In the motion, they argued he’d concealed a $1 million “loan,” perhaps from Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.


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