TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The two Ukrainian-American businessmen arrested Wednesday on campaign finance charges donated money to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, according to federal records.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas are associated with President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The two men are now in a Virginia jail, accused of conspiring to funnel foreign money to U.S. candidates for federal and state offices so they could buy political influence.
"It's a real indictment of our own political process," said Erin Chlopak with the Campaign Legal Center.
The CLC first flagged the more than $300,000 campaign contribution from an apparent shell company to a Trump political action committee last year and filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission.
"This corporation that appeared to have been just set up made this large contribution to the super PAC, but it didn't seem to have the sufficient resources to make that contribution," Chlopak said.
We dug through FEC records and found that the suspects donated hundreds of thousands of dollars altogether, though not all of it is connected to the indictments.
Scott received more than $20,000 in donations. His office did not return our request for comment.
The indictment said the two men also created a company called Global Energy Producers LLC to hide their donations.
That company gave DeSantis $50,000 for his gubernatorial race.
In a prepared statement, a spokesperson for DeSantis said:
"The allegations regarding Global Energy Producers to the governor's affiliated political action committee in 2018 are troubling. Therefore, Governor DeSantis is directing the political action committee to return the money to the federal government."
Major donations were made to Republican lawmakers and parties throughout the country.
"It also illustrates the big problem we have with big money and foreign influence in our elections," Chlopak said.
Cox Media Group