New York : When Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman traveled to Ukraine last winter to help Rudy Giuliani dig up dirt on President Donald Trump’s political opponents, they were accompanied by a 44 year-old American named David Correia.
A former pro golfer and restaurateur, Correia had gotten to know Parnas and Fruman in South Florida, where he’d gone into business with Parnas years earlier.
While Parnas and Fruman, who had high-level contacts in Ukraine, worked to gather documents that they believed showed evidence of corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Correia was there to make the effort pay off in lucrative business deals, according to people who talked to him at the time, as well as copies of text messages obtained by CNN.
Before the trip, Correia texted an American associate that he wanted to “be fully prepared to close specific deals in Ukraine while we are there,” according to the message viewed by CNN. Though he had no experience in the gas or energy business prior to working with Parnas, Correia was bent on securing a deal to sell US liquified natural gas to Ukraine through a pipeline in Poland.
When the three men were indicted in October for illegally funneling foreign money into Republican political circles, attention quickly focused on Parnas and Fruman, who have become key characters in the ongoing impeachment saga of President Donald Trump.