Press releases

Lev Parnas conviction shows dangers of political dark money, shell companies

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

In the wake of a federal jury convicting Ukrainian-born businessman Lev Parnas and one of his associates of violating U.S. campaign finance laws, Issue One released the following statement warning about the dangers of dark money and foreign interference in U.S. elections.

“As this case shows, political dark money is one of the most toxic forces in politics because it can be used as a conduit for foreign influence in our elections,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “The Justice Department must continue to prioritize cases of alleged foreign interference in our elections. We must remain vigilant against influence campaigns from foreign nationals and foreign governments, whether they try to illegally funnel money into our elections, launch cyberattacks against our elections infrastructure, or bombard us online with disinformation.”

Among Parnas’ crimes were using a fake company to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2018 from a Russian businessman to a Republican super PAC. Questions about these contributions were first noted in a complaint filed by Campaign Legal Center with the Federal Election Commission.

In a report published last year, Issue One warned how shell companies that give money to super PACs could be conduits for foreign money in U.S. elections. 

That report also included a tipsheet for investigating political contributions from shell companies, such as mysterious limited liability companies (LLCs).