The fourth defendant in a case centered around business associates of President Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was detained on Wednesday by authorities at a New York City airport, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan confirmed.
“The defendant was taken into custody by the FBI at JFK earlier this morning,” Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the office, told The Hill.
David Correia was one of four individuals named in an indictment that accused a pair of Florida businessmen with orchestrating a straw donor scheme to circumvent campaign finance laws. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, associates of Giuliani’s, allegedly funneled money to numerous Republican committees, including a $325,000 donation to a pro-Trump super PAC using a fake energy company they created.
Correia is accused of using foreign money to generate political support for a marijuana business in Nevada and other states. Parnas and Fruman, who are also charged with making false statements to election regulators and conspiracy, were arrested outside Washington, D.C., last week after the charges were leveled.
Another man named in the indictment, Andrey Kukushkin, was arrested in California.
It remains unclear if Correia’s arrest occurred after he arrived in New York, or if he was planning to depart for somewhere else. Prosecutors said Parnas and Fruman were trying to leave the United States at the time of their arrest, which occurred at the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
William Sweeney, assistant director in charge at the FBI’s New York office, said at the press conference last week that the allegations stemmed from an investigation about “corrupt behavior [and] deliberate lawbreaking.”
The arrests of Parnas and Fruman do not appear linked to Giuliani’s dealings with Ukraine. But the case has gained considerable scrutiny given Trump’s efforts to pressure a foreign nation into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which is at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
Parnas and Fruman have said they introduced Giuliani to individuals inside Ukrainian political circles.
The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Giuliani’s business relationships with Parnas and Fruman are a part of a federal investigation. A grand jury earlier this week also subpoenaed former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) for documents related to his interactions with Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman.
According to the indictment, Parnas and Fruman pushed an unnamed congressman to call for the dismissal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch was recalled from her post in May.
Matt Mackowiak, a spokesman for Sessions, told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Sessions was cooperating with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Both he and Giuliani have denied committing misconduct.
UPDATED 12:10 p.m.