In addition to Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two other men were indicted Thursday morning for violations related to various campaign donations — David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin.
And while Parnas and Fruman’s connections to Rudy’s search for Trump-friendly political dirt is well known, their alleged business partners Correia and Kukushkin are much less public figures.
The quartet was indicted for their alleged crimes connected to their attempt to establish a marijuana venture in the states. The indictment describes a scheme in which they donated to various political candidates using an unnamed foreign national’s money in order to gain influence and benefit their venture. The indictment alleges the foreign national’s donations were made through the four American citizens, another violation.
Andrey Kukushkin was arrested in San Francisco, the FBI announced Thursday at a press conference, while Correia was not yet in custody.
Correia has a long history with Parnas that continues to the present day, according to Florida business records.
Parnas and Correia are listed as co-founders of Fraud Guarantee, a Florida-based fraud protection company. Other public filings in the state of Florida show they’ve been business partners as far back as 2011.
And the Miami Herald reported recently on another tie between Correia and Parnas. The pair reportedly worked together on a failed moviemaking venture that ended in a lawsuit — a lawsuit that happened to raise questions about a mysterious LLC that was recorded as donating $325,000 to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.
After investors in the failed film project “Anatomy of an Assassin” sued to get their money back, according to the Herald, they got an ominous call.
“He said the Ukrainians were upset because we were ‘a dangling participle’ and we needed to make a deal to make them go away,” Diane Pues recalled to the Miami Herald. A federal judge has ruled that Parnas owes $500,000 to Diane and Michael Pues, the Herald reported.
“He said we no longer knew who we were dealing with and that the Ukrainians had ties all the way up to the State Department and the White House and they were partners with Rudy Giuliani,” Diane Pues told the Herald.
The Ukrainians, the Herald reported, were Parnas and Fruman. The man making the call was reportedly David Correia.
Like his business partners, Correia appears to be connected to Trumpworld. A photo he posted on Facebook in January 2018 shows him posing with President Donald Trump.
David Correia was indicted today alongside Lev Panas and Igor Fruman. Here’s him with Donald Trump. Correia posted the picture online in January 2018. pic.twitter.com/fSiaADnidk
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) October 10, 2019
Kukushkin is listed among others in a Russian newspaper article earlier this year that profiled investors in the American cannabis market.
Legal filings from California show that an Andrey Kukushkin is listed as a manager on a business filing for Oasis Venture, LLC in 2017 and again in March of this year.
Oasis describes itself as an “agri. tech. research and development” firm, and records show it pursued a permit to establish a large marijuana cultivation facility in Alameda County, California. Another manager on the firm’s filings, founder Chuk Campos, didn’t return a voicemail from TPM attempting to confirm Kukushkin’s involvement.
Detailed proposals from Kukushkin and Campos’ firm outline a plan for a marijuana cultivation facility involving a 34,213 square foot greenhouse building containing a 22,000 square foot cannabis canopy, a processing building, and a parking lot with 28 spaces. It’s not clear that the plans have been approved, though records indicate Campos appealed a past denial in 2018. The local water agency voted to authorize the commercial use of an onsite wastewater treatment system for Oasis Venture last month.
Social media pages appearing to belong to Kukushkin show that he’s lived in Odessa, Ukraine and San Francisco. The below photo was posted on the Russian social media site OK.Ru in 2012.