As Rudy Giuliani upended U.S.-Ukraine relations with a campaign of shadow diplomacy that landed his client, President Donald Trump, on the verge of impeachment, he was also exploring a gig as a television pitchman for an anti-fraud company run by two of the men he enlisted to dig up dirt on Trumps political foes in Ukraine.
The company was called Fraud Guarantee, and it was run by Lev Parnas and David Correia, who were both arrested last month and charged with criminal violations of campaign-finance lawcharges to which both have pleaded not guilty. Parnas and Correia had used Fraud Guarantee to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to Giuliani, with whom they worked closely as he sought to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden in Ukraine and advance their own business interests in the country.
According to two sources with knowledge of the matter, Parnas and Correia had plans to expand Giulianis role with the company. As of early this year, they were looking to make him into Fraud Guarantees spokesman and public face.
Both sources described a key part of the plan: a television infomercial featuring Giuliani extolling the virtues of Fraud Guarantee and its services. Parnas and Correia wanted the ad campaign to start airing on U.S. cable-news channels shortly after Giuliani was finished representing Trump in matters pertaining to Special Counsel Robert Muellers two-year investigation. The probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election concluded earlier this year.
Giuliani himself was read-in on the Parnas and Correia plans, and had multiple discussions with the two men about possibly signing on as their national pitchman, sources say.
However, its not clear whether any footage of those planned Fraud Guarantee infomercials was ever shot, or if any deal was ultimately officially inked. Its also not clear what purpose a prospective ad campaign would have served since Fraud Guarantee seemed to be conducting little if any actual business. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company had no identifiable customers. And its namewhich, read literally, seems to be guaranteeing that its customers will be defraudedappears to have been crafted to sanitize search-engine results for Parnas name, so that people searching for, say, Lev Parnas and fraud would instead find his company.
Daytime cable-TV shows are littered with infomercials featuring moderately prominent political celebrities promoting products such as gold and silver investment services, reverse mortgages, and catheters. The popular sleep line MyPillow, which is led by the presidents friend and political ally Mike Lindell, is a frequent cable advertiser. Other Trumpworld luminaries have gotten into the game of late as well, including former White House official Sebastian Gorka, who can now be seen hawking fish-oil supplements in a series of infomercial spots for the company Relief Factor.
Giuliani did not respond to questions Tuesday about his role in the potential Fraud Guarantee TV ads. But he has been willing to offer himself up for infomercials in the past. In 2013, he filmed a testimonial for the identity-theft protection service LifeLock.
Additional details about Giulianis relationship with the company could emerge as congressional Democrats intensify an investigation into his efforts to co-opt American foreign policy toward Ukraine to the benefit of Trumps political goals. Parnas announced this week that he is willing to testify and provide documents to impeachment investigators on the House Intelligence Committee.
An attorney for Parnas and Correia also did not respond to requests for comment.
Parnas met Giuliani a few years ago at a Republican fundraiser, and the two forged a personal and professional relationship as Parnas and another associate, Igor Fruman, bought their way into prominence in GOP political circles. Giuliani refers to them as his clients, and he and Parnas were frequently seen dining together at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., including on the day before Parnas, Fruman, and Correia were arrested.