By The Beast
The effort to hide campaign donations may be more deceptive than previously known.
By The Beast
By The Beast
By The Beast
When federal prosecutors indicted Rudy Giuliani pal Igor Fruman for campaign finance violations last week, among their allegations was that Fruman concealed at least some of his contributions by misspelling his last name: FURman instead of FRUman.
The deception, however, may have gone even deeper than that. Federal Election Commission filings disclosing a huge contribution Fruman made to a Republican joint fundraising committee last year don’t just misspell his last name; they falsely list him as an actual Los Angeles-based doctor named Igor Furman.
The contribution at issue was a $100,000 donation in April 2018 to House Majority Trust, a fundraising account benefiting the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The group’s FEC filings list the donor as Igor Furman, not Igor Fruman. And while the address listed on the filing is the same one as the Miami-area condo owned by the Giuliani-tied Fruman, the occupation listed on the filing is the one associated with the L.A. doctor, founder of a company called Qualified Billing & Collections.
Furman, the doctor, had donated to Giuliani’s presidential campaign in 2007 and went to medical school in the same city—Odessa, Ukraine—from which the indicted Fruman hails. But he never made a donation to House Majority Trust, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Asked whether Fruman had intentionally misrepresented his identity to House Majority Trust in making the contribution, his attorney John Dowd told The Daily Beast, “No idea. Ask Dr. Furman.” When informed that the actual Dr. Furman had denied making the contribution, and asked again whether his client had intentionally misreported details of his identity, Dowd repeated, “No idea.”
House Majority Trust’s treasurer did not respond to repeated questions about Fruman’s donation and how it was reported.
What might otherwise be a simple paperwork error or an innocuous case of mistaken identity is uniquely relevant—and potentially problematic—after prosecutors accused Fruman last week of deliberately obscuring his identity in reporting personal information accompanying his large political contributions. It is illegal under federal law to “knowingly and willfully” make a political contribution in the name of another person, in particular as part of an effort to evade campaign contribution limits.
The indictment issued in Fruman’s case highlighted one of his 2018 donations and noted, "the contribution—and several other significant contributions made at and around the same time—was made in the name of ‘Igor Furman’ not IGOR FRUMAN, the defendant.” Prosecutors alleged that the mistakes were not typos or innocent misstatements of fact, but rather part of an “effort to conceal the source of the funds and to evade federal reporting requirements.”
FEC forms list the misspelled version of Fruman’s name in other high-dollar contributions, including a pair of $50,000 contributions to another joint fundraising committee called Protect the House. But unlike his House Majority Trust contribution, those list his employer as “Import Export Corp,” Fruman’s Odessa-based business.
The Furman who founded Qualified Billing & Collections made just one other federal campaign contribution in the years since he donated to Giuliani. In 2014, he gave $1,000 to the House campaign of California Republican Elan Carr.
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