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In SDNY Correia and Kukushkin Plead Not Guilty While Parnas Still In Custody No Contact Inner City Press Asked Why

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Alamy photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 17 – David Correia, charged in a foreign donor scheme, was presented in and bailed out of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Magistrates Court on October 16. On October 17 he and co-defendant Andrey Kukushkin were arraigned before SDNY Judge J. Paul Oetken and both pled not guilty.

  The government said discovery will be extensive, involving more than 10 e-mail accounts. They will work on a protective order and then begin "rolling production." Judge Oetken set the next court date for them for December 2 at 2 pm, and make the defendants' physical attendance optional. (The prosecutors said it would be helpful to have them present.) The two lead named defendants in the case, Parnas and Fruman, will appear before Judge Oetken on October 23 at 11:30 am.

 Kukushkin was released on $1 million bond secured by $100,000 cash and $93,000 in property. Parnas is still in custody in the Eastern District of Virginia, no able yet to meet the bail conditions offered to him. The prosecutor said he will not be transported north for the October 23 appearance absent a new order and revocation of unyet bail condition. Judge Oetken didn't issue such an order, to not problematize Parnas efforts to meet the conditions.

On October 16 one of the conditions of Correia's release was that he not have contact with his co-defendants without the presence of counsel; his lawyer said in court that he might ask to revisit that.

  Afterward Inner City Press asked this attorney Mr. Marcus of Florida, pro hace vice application pending, when and why he would seek to revist that condition, that was imposed without objections on other processed through and bailed by the SDNY Mag court before and after Correia.

  "There is a business relationship," Marcus replied, before declining to say which Middle East country it was Correia has flown back from to self-surrender. A bit later he, Correia and a New York based lawyer ventured out into Worth Street in the rain and photographers, running ahead of them and into a black car and away.

  Here's from the US Attorney's description of the business relations: "Beginning in or around July 2018, PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and KUKUSHKIN made plans to form a recreational marijuana business (the “Business Venture”) that would be funded by Foreign National-1, a Russian national, and required gaining access to retail marijuana licenses in particular states, including Nevada (the “Business Venture”).  To further the Business Venture, PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and KUKUSHKIN planned to use Foreign National-1 as a source of funding for donations and contributions to state and federal candidates and politicians in Nevada, New York, and other states to facilitate acquisitions of retail marijuana licenses.      In or about September and October 2018, CORREIA drafted a table of political donations and contributions, which was subsequently circulated to the defendants and Foreign National-1.  The table described a “multi-state license strategy” to make between $1million and $2 million in political contributions to federal and state political committees.  The table also included a “funding” schedule of two $500,000 transfers.  Foreign National-1 then arranged for two $500,000 wires on or about September 18, 2018, and October 16, 2018, to be sent from overseas accounts to a U.S. corporate bank account controlled by FRUMAN and another individual.      PARNAS, FRUMAN, CORREIA, and KUKUSHKIN then used those funds transferred by Foreign National-1, in part, to attempt to gain influence and the appearance of influence with politicians and candidates."

Inner City Press will continue to cover these cases.


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