Change of plea scheduled in Rudy Giuliani-related case

Politics

FILE- In this Oct. 17, 2019 file photo, David Correia walks from federal court in New York. Correia and his business partner Lev Parnas, were charged with defrauding investors in a business called “Fraud Guarantee.” On Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 a superseding indictment brought by federal prosecutors also charged them with additional campaign finance violations. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — A change-of-plea hearing is set for Thursday for a man charged with conspiring with associates of Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, to make illegal campaign contributions.

The hearing for David Correia, scheduled to occur by video, was announced in a filing Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

If it occurs as planned, Correia would become the first conviction among four men charged last year with using straw donors to make illegal contributions to politicians they thought could aid their political and business interests.

Messages for comment were left with his lawyers Wednesday. A spokesperson for prosecutors declined to comment.

In September, an updated indictment charged Correia and co-defendant Lev Parnas with defrauding investors in a business called Fraud Guarantee. A superseding indictment also charged him with additional campaign finance violations.

Parnas and Correia also hired Giuliani, a Republican former New York City mayor, to consult with Fraud Guarantee. Giuliani has said he was promised $500,000 to work with the company.

The indictment said Correia misled investors about the strength of the company and a business model and in some cases used the invested money for personal expenses.

Two other men who have pleaded not guilty in the case, Parnas and Igor Fruman, worked with Giuliani to try to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden while Parnas and Fruman allegedly made sizable illegal campaign contributions to U.S. candidates. Giuliani has said he knew nothing about the donations.

The Ukrainian quest was a focus of Trump’s impeachment proceedings earlier this year. The president’s efforts to press Ukraine for an investigation of the Bidens led the House to impeach Trump, though he was acquitted by the Senate.

Correia is an American-born businessman who owns a home with his wife in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Last month, one of his lawyers asked to leave the case and said Correia hadn’t paid him.

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