A business partner of Lev Parnas, who helped Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, dig up dirt on the president’s political rivals is expected to plead guilty on Thursday to defrauding investors in a start-up, according to two people with knowledge of the case.
The partner, David Correia, will admit in Manhattan federal court to duping investors in a company he founded with Mr. Parnas, Fraud Guarantee, that offered a kind of insurance against swindles, one of the people said.
Mr. Correia, a former golf pro, and Mr. Parnas were first indicted in October 2019 on federal campaign finance charges, accused of participating in a conspiracy to conceal the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions.
New charges filed last month accused the men of bilking their investors in Fraud Guarantee, which they had founded in 2012. Prosecutors said investors had pumped $2 million into the company, but it never got off the ground.
Mr. Correia, 50, became a peripheral player in the president’s impeachment drama last year through his association with Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman living in Florida who had a taste for the high life and became a regular in Trump donor circles.
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In 2018, Mr. Parnas arranged for an introduction to Mr. Giuliani, whom he and Mr. Correia hoped would endorse and promote Fraud Guarantee. Mr. Giuliani accepted, and the business partners paid him $500,000 that they had received from a Long Island lawyer who was promised an investment in the company in return.
In a September 2018 letter to investors, Mr. Correia said the “very powerful partnership” with Mr. Giuliani would give the company credibility and help it comply with regulations.
After the initial meeting, Mr. Giuliani began to combine politics and business: He teamed up with Mr. Parnas and another of Mr. Parnas’s business associates, Igor Fruman, to try to find information in Ukraine that would discredit one of the president’s political rivals, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
They were also trying to bring down the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, whom some Trump allies believed was impeding their efforts to find damaging information on Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
At the same time, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were pursuing their own energy deals in Europe, which did not ultimately lead to any agreements.
Their work in Ukraine was part of the narrative surrounding Mr. Trump’s impeachment in December for using his power to push for investigations in Ukraine that would further hurt Mr. Biden.
Mr. Correia was not involved in any of those efforts, and he is not expected to cooperate with Manhattan federal prosecutors in their examination of Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Parnas’s dirt-digging mission.
Mr. Giuliani is not accused of any wrongdoing in connection with Fraud Guarantee and he has denied any impropriety in his work in Ukraine.
Last year, Mr. Parnas, Mr. Correia, Mr. Fruman and another man, Andrey Kukushkin, were indicted on charges that they funneled money from an unnamed Russian donor to state and federal candidates to try to gain potential influence, according to court documents.
The men wanted to set up recreational marijuana businesses in Nevada and other states and were seeking political help to get access to the necessary licenses.
Separately, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were charged with concealing the true source of a $325,000 donation made to a pro-Trump super PAC. The men had created a company called Global Energy Products, which they used to funnel large contributions, according to the indictment.
Mr. Parnas, who has since broken with Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. His lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, declined to comment on Mr. Correia’s forthcoming expected guilty plea.
Mr. Correia is also expected to plead guilty on Thursday to making a false statement to the Federal Election Commission in connection with the campaign donations. Under the expected plea agreement, Mr. Correia could face 33 to 41 months in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines.
Ben Protess contributed reporting.