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Man imprisoned in Giuliani-related fraud case seeks release

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NEW YORK (AP) — A Florida businessman who admitted that his fraud-busting business was a fraud is citing the coronavirus threat in prisons as he asks a judge to release him early from his one-year prison term.

David Correia, 46, made the request in court papers filed publicly Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

The West Palm Beach resident was sentenced in February after pleading guilty to making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and conspiring to commit wire fraud. Prosecutors said Rudy Giuliani was hired as a consultant to the business, “Fraud Guarantee,” which purportedly protected investors from being fraud victims.

Correia said in a handwritten filing that an incurable auto-immune disease makes him particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 in prison, where inmates cannot avoid close proximity. He is scheduled to be released in December from a federal prison camp in Butner, North Carolina. Prosecutors declined through a spokesperson to comment.

In a letter to a warden included in the court filing, Correia wrote in early September he was worried after his wife, a physician assistant, reported that four fully vaccinated individuals had died from the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“My sentence … was just, for the crime I pled guilty to. However, I was not given a death sentence,” Correia wrote. “Having a wife and two children under 11 years old makes this a very scary situation to be in.”

He asked to complete his sentence in home confinement.

Correia was originally arrested in 2019 along with three others, including two men who worked with Giuliani to try to get Ukrainian officials to investigate the son of then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Giuliani has said he knew nothing about the crimes the men were charged with but has acknowledged working closely with the men as he sought communications with Ukrainian figures.

Giuliani was never charged. But he is under investigation by Manhattan federal authorities who are deciding whether the former New York City mayor was required to register as a foreign agent as he gathered information in Ukraine that he has insisted was part of his duties as then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press

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