SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Republican Congressman John Katko is donating $2,433 to a local charity to make-up for the same amount given to him by Igor Fruman, an associate of Rudy Giuliani accused of violating campaign finance law.
Igor Fruman, along with Lev Parnas, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, have been indicted on accusations they “conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.”
Born in Belarus, Fruman is a United States citizen, according to the indictment.
Fruman, allegedly using a fake name, donated to both Congressman John Katko and Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, through a joint finance committee.
Federal election contribution records show donations made by “Igor Furman” — the letters rearranged to form a fake name — to “Katko for Congress.”
The records show two donations: $2173.91 on June 26, 2018 and $271.43 on March 31, 2018.
The exact same donations were made on similar dates to the “Claudia Tenney for Congress” campaign.
A spokesperson for the Katko campaign points out that because the donations came through the Protect the House joint finance committee, the money was not given directly to the Katko campaign by Fruman and that people who donate to these fundraising committees don’t volunteer for the local campaigns or have have idea where their money will go.
According to the Auburn Citizen, Katko donated the money to the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
Katko’s decision to re-donate the money matches what he did in 2015 when he gave back $10,000 in contributions made to his campaign by COR executives Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, who were arrested on federal corruption charges.
NewsChannel 9 has not yet heard back for a spokesperson for Claudia Tenney, who is running to win back her seat from Democratic Congressman Anthony Brindisi.