A federal judge in New York on Tuesday declined to revoke bail for Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani indicted in a criminal campaign finance case in earlier this fall.
Parnas' legal team and federal prosecutors in New York gathered in court on Tuesday after the government last week requested Parnas' bail be revoked, saying he has made "continuing and troublesome misrepresentations" to pretrial services regarding his assets and income and that he poses an "extreme flight risk."
Judge Paul Oetken said that Parnas may have "violated the spirit of what was requested" when he filled out his financial disclosure forms, but declined to revoke bail, saying he wasn’t sure it rose to the level "warranting revocation of bail."
Parnas, in court in a suit and tie, said nothing during the proceeding. The judge denied his request for a relaxation of the terms of his release.
The prosecutors also revealed in court on Tuesday that Parnas' wife received $1 million from Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash and accused Parnas of making "extremely troubling" misstatements about the payment and other financial transactions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Donelesky said that Parnas told the government the payment was made as a loan to his wife, but "an unsecured loan to an unemployed housewife" makes "no sense." She added Parnas possessed a "pot of money hidden away that the government doesn't know about."
A powerful businessman with ties to the Ukrainian and Russian natural gas industry, Firtash hired Parnas earlier this year as a local representative in Kyiv for his legal team fighting an extradition to the U.S. as he faces corruption charges. Also in his legal team are two of Trump's most prominent defenders on cable television, Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing. The Ukrainian oligarch in recent weeks has also emerged as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump in connection with his overlapping interests with several key figures in the president's inner circle, especially his ties to Giuliani's efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.
In a court paper requesting to revoke Parnas' bail last week, the government wrote that Parnas has "significant, high-level connections to powerful and wealthy Ukrainians and at least one Russian national," and that "he could quickly and easily flee the United States for Ukraine or another foreign country, and recoup the security posted to his bond."
Parnas' attorney on Tuesday said any "monies the government claims are available" for his client to flee "just aren't there. It's not true." Bondy added that Parnas "burned that bridge to the extent that there was a bridge" when his client agreed to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry last month.
Bondy also said that Parnas had been threatened by another Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolimoiskiy as recently as May. Bondy argued the threat prohibited Parnas from fleeing to Ukraine.
In October, Parnas, along with associate Igor Fruman, was arrested at Dulles International Airport just outside of Washington with "one-way tickets" to a foreign country, and subsequently charged with four counts in connection with an alleged scheme to circumvent federal laws against straw donations and foreign campaign contributions. Both Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty.
The previously obscure Soviet-born Americans have also recently become key figures in the congressional impeachment inquiry against the president in connection with their reportedly significant role in assisting Giuliani in his efforts in Ukraine. The two also called for dismissal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Prosecutors at the time of their indictment expressed concern that they were a flight risk, but they were both released on a million-dollar bail bond secured with $200,000 cash and subjected to home confinement in Florida with GPS monitoring. They have also surrendered their passports as a condition of their release.
Parnas' legal team in a Monday court filing disputed the government's accusations that his client deliberately made false statements about his finances, saying that Parnas had to make estimates about his assets and income without access to any records when he was interviewed about his finances while jailed. They also wrote that the government was aware of the $1 million wire transfers that originated from Firtash prior to setting the bail condition, but did not ask further questions about these funds.
According to prosecutors, Parnas in the past couple years traveled repeatedly to Ukraine, and met with various Ukrainian government officials, including on a nearly monthly basis this year, and spent more than $70,000 on private air travel in September alone.
Much of their source of funding has been shrouded in mystery, but prosecutors suggest Parnas has "considerable ties abroad," particularly in Ukraine, and access to "seemingly limitless sources of foreign funding," as they note that Parnas doesn't appear to own any property within the United States aside from two vehicles.
Since their indictment, Giuliani has acknowledged receiving $500,000 from Parnas' firm Fraud Guarantee in September and October 2018. The payment originated from a New York-based lawyer Charles Gucciardo as a loan to Parnas, Gucciardo's attorney told ABC News.
As ABC News has previously reported, Giuliani's relationship with Parnas and Fruman is also the subject of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York, according to sources familiar with the matter.