Legal

Giuliani associate Fruman to remain under house arrest, judge says

Igor Fruman was indicted on charges that he illegally funneled foreign money into U.S. elections, including a pro-Trump Super PAC.

Rudy Giuliani

NEW YORK — Igor Fruman, one of two indicted associates of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, will remain on house arrest, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken ruled on Thursday.

Todd Blanche, Fruman's attorney, had sought to lift the restrictions that required Fruman remain in his home and be subjected to GPS monitoring. Blanche attempted to persuade the judge that Fruman wasn’t attempting to flee when he was arrested Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport with a one-way ticket to Vienna, making the current bail restrictions onerous.

Fruman has been indicted on charges that he and another Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign money into U.S. elections, including a pro-Trump Super PAC. Both associates have pleaded not guilty.

“In my view, the government has asked for too much,” Blanche said of Fruman’s 24-hour house arrest.

Fruman, who was not required to appear in court because he lives in Florida, intended to return to the U.S. and his purchase of a one-way ticket was “consistent” with past travel arrangements when return trips were booked at a later date, Blanche said. He added that Fruman, who is currently going through a divorce, must be able to leave the apartment to take care of his young children and elderly mother who lives nearby. Blanche argued the condition that Fruman agree to post a $1 million bond is enough assurance he’ll appear in future court hearings.

Nicholas Roos, an assistant U.S. attorney, said the charges against Fruman are “serious” and there’s a “compelling need” to be able to track Fruman’s whereabouts to ensure he doesn’t flee. He noted that Fruman has access to private travel abroad and there’s no indication that Vienna was his final destination in October, as he often takes “circuitous” routes when traveling. Fruman has strong business ties to his native home of Belarus, Roos added.

Oetken denied the request that the bail conditions be lifted, saying they are “reasonably necessary” considering his resources to travel internationally.

Oetken also denied another request to preclude the federal government from seeking additional financial information from Fruman’s brother and his brother’s wife, who are both co-signers on Fruman’s bond.

Blanche had argued the additional information isn’t necessary as both family members have already provided enough information showing their savings qualify them as co-signers.