Chicago prosecutors turned to their counterparts in New York, where foreign money charges were filed to offer assistance.
Parnassus has been working as an interpreter for the magnate's lawyer, Dmitry Firtash, since late July. Chicago prosecutors suspect there may be a broader connection between Firtash, Parnassus and Fruman, people familiar with the matter say.
The new focus on possible ties between the three men comes as the Ukrainian energy tycoon emerged to align himself with Trump and the president's allies as he fights extradition to the United States.
This summer, Firtash ̵
1; on Parnassus' recommendation – hired two conservative attorneys who are the president's chief defenders.
Meanwhile, Parnassus and Fruman, immigrants born of the Soviet Union with deep business ties in Ukraine, assisted Juliani's scourge of damaging information about Democrats in that country, an effort that is now the focus of the presidential impeachment investigation.
The Ukrainian energy tycoon is now facing questions as to whether he has played a shadow role in this effort. Firtash's case helped provide fodder for Giuliani's theories through a well-known prospectus: In September, Firtash's Austrian attorneys filed a statement with a former Ukrainian prosecutor, in which the prosecutor said he was fired because he was investigating the son of a son of a son. Biden. Since then, Giuliani cites this document as evidence to support his claims.
Firtash's lawyers denied that the energy tycoon had any business dealings with Parnassus and Fruman. And a member of his legal team said Firtash played no role in Giuliani's efforts, adding: "His whole focus was on his legal case."
Firtash, who federal prosecutors say has ties to organized Russia crime remains a powerful figure in Ukraine, although he lives in exile in Austria. He denies links to organized crime and any wrongdoing in the Chicago case.
In July tycoon replaces legal teams, replacing longtime Democratic lawyer Lani Davis with the team of Victoria Tonizing and Joseph Digen's husband and wife, often appearing on Fox News and have served as unofficial advisers to Trump's legal team, including Julian.
Having dealt with Firtash's case, Tonings and Digenova secured a rare face-to-face meeting. with Attorney General William P. Barr and other Justice Department officials arguing over the allegations, three people familiar with the meeting said.
Bar refused to intervene, people said.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said the case "has the support of the department's management," adds: "We continue to work closely with the Austrian Ministry of Justice on Mr Firtash's extradition."
The toning declined comment at the Bar meeting.
U.S. Attorneys at Chicago and Manhattan declined to comment on their investigations.
In a statement, a spokesman for Toensing and diGenova stated that Firtash first met Parnassus in June and that Firtash had no "business relationship". with Parnassus or Fruman. "No money was paid to Mr Parnassus from Mr Firtash outside his job as a translator at the law firm," the spokesman said.
In an interview last week, Giuliani called Firtash an "interesting" man, but said he had never met him or worked on his behalf.
"I looked at Firtash to see if there was any relevant information" to help with his claims, said Giuliani. "As far as I can tell, he didn't. I looked at maybe 20 of these oligarchs.
He said he did not know if Firtash had anything to do with Parnassus and Fruman. "This is not my job," said Giuliani.
Attorneys for Parnassus and Fruman declined comment.
Earlier this year, Giuliani disdained Firtash, claiming that the wealthy Ukrainian had an affair with At the time, Firtash was still represented by Davis, who was also a lawyer for the former lawyer of Trump's Michael Cohen, which made him a prime target for Trump's anger.
Davis is paid by "this man who is considered one of the highest ranking members or contributors to organized crime," Giuliani told the Hill newspaper in March.
Firtash made his fortune through his ownership of mediation a company that sells natural gas from a Russian state-owned company to a state-owned natural gas supplier in Ukraine and from a Ukrainian company to consumers. The job required connections in both Kiev and Moscow. and, adding to the power through the employment of thousands of Ukrainians.
In a 2017 court file, US federal prosecutors say Firtash has ties to the "upper echelons" of Russian organized crime. The gas tycoon is linked to US diplomats. cable with Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian accused in Pennsylvania in 2003 of more than 40 charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering and now lives in Moscow.
The FBI claims that Mogilevich, also called "the boss of the bosses," is also involved in "weapons trafficking, custom murders, extortion, trafficking in rattles and prostitution internationally. "
In 2010, WikiLeaks published a US domestic diplomatic cable years earlier, after which US Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. wrote that Firtash had" acknowledged links With Mogilevich in a private meeting. Taylor wrote that Firtash denied breaking the law, but said he "first needs Mogilevich's approval to start a business."
A member of Firtash's legal team stated that Taylor's description of the conversation was incorrect.
Firtash has since insisted that he have no ties to Russian organized crime, telling Time magazine in 2017 that he had never been a partner of Mogilevich. "He is Ukrainian. ,,, Half the country knows him. And what? Firtash said then. "Knowing him does not mean being responsible for him."
Firtash was indicted in Chicago in 2013 on charges of bribery of Indian miners in that country. He was arrested in Austria the following year at the request of US officials, but has been released on a $ 172 million bond and has been living in Vienna since extradition.
In June, the Austrian Supreme Court ruled against Firtash, paving the way for his eviction in the United States.
At this point, Firtash is trying with one last effort to prevent the long-delayed start of his process in the United States.
This month, the energy tycoon met Parnassus in Vienna through a mutual friend of Ukraine, according to a person familiar with the episode. At the time, Firtash was considering changing attorneys and asked about Toensing and diGenova. Parnassus joined the couple he met through Guiliani and urged Firtash to hire them, the person said.
Toning and Digen, for their part, brought Parnassus on board as an interpreter the following month, according to Toensing, who said on July 23 that Davis, who had been registered as a foreign agent to represent Firtash, submitted that he no longer works for the Ukrainian. In a statement, he said he was replaced by Toensing and diGenova.
Unlike Davis, they did not register with the Department of Justice as foreign agents. A spokesman for the law firm diGenova and Toensing said their representation of Firtash falls within the scope of the Foreign Agents Act, which specifically exempts legal services from the registration requirement.
In recent months, Firtash's Austrian attorneys have filed a court document criticizing the Justice Department in a way that voices Trump's own attacks against the department, according to a person familiar with the sealed Austrian procedure.
Attorneys claim that the Firtash case is politically motivated because Andrew Weissman, a lawyer working for then-special counsel Robert S. Muller III, offered to resolve Firtash's case if he implicated Trump and the former campaign chairman. Paul Manafort in Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections
In his response, the Justice Department noted that Firtash's investigation began more than a decade ago and that he was indicted in 2013 – long before he had a special law firm or Trump Ori was a presidential candidate – and thus could not be politically motivated, according to a person familiar with the matter. The department also disputes that Weissman told Firtash's team that he could dismiss the case, the person said.
In response, an Austrian court reopened Firtash's case, reiterating his extradition.
Business and Politics  In 2018, Parnassus and Fruman began a steep climb in Trump's inner circle, had dinner at the White House with Trump, and had breakfast with their son Donald Trump, Jr., Giuliani, regularly taking the two men. formal and informal events, ie including political gatherings, sporting events and the December 2018 funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.