Fruman, a real estate investor who also runs a New York import-export business dealing in coffee, baby food, ketchup and dairy products, and Lev Parnas also allegedly bragged about their alliances with Republican power brokers like Giuliani and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in order to procure a six-figure loan from an investor for a natural gas business they run. But the men struggled to pay the investor back on time, leading to a lawsuit.
In addition to his interests in real estate and shipping, Fruman is the president of the Ukrainian-based Otrada Luxury Group, which sells cars, jewelry, boats, food and alcohol, according to a company pamphlet. He lives in Sunny Isles Beach, public records show, which is also the location of Seafront Properties, LLC, for which he is the registered agent. He has “personal ties” to powerful businessman Volodymyr “The Lightbulb” Galanternik in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa also called “the Grey Cardinal” who is believed to associate with organized crime figures, according to OCCRP, an international consortium of investigative journalists.
Parnas, Fruman and their natural-gas company, Global Energy Producers, have given more than $400,000 to Republican candidates and committees supporting them in federal elections. The vast majority of that money has gone to committees supporting Trump, but Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott is the next biggest beneficiary.
In 2018, Fruman gave $15,000 to a joint-fundraising committee backing Scott’s Senate race. They also gave $50,000 to the campaign of DeSantis, a Trump ally, in June 2018 and $35,000 combined to a committee supporting failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam.
Together, Parnas and Fruman joined Donald Trump Jr. for breakfast in Beverly Hills last year, a deleted social media post obtained by BuzzFeed/OCCRP shows. Both men have been spotted at Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago, according to published reports. Another photo shows Parnas at the White House with Trump earlier this year.
On May 17, 2018, a Delaware shell company called Global Energy Producers contributed $325,000 to America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, according to federal campaign finance records. Parnas was described as the CEO of the firm and Fruman as the president in unrelated documents.
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