Thursday, November 07, 2019

Lev and bullets: The strange source of Rudy's money

It's a mystery: How does Lev Parnas -- Rudy Giuliani's partner/paymaster/whatever -- contrive to live like a king, even though so many people complain that Lev can't, or won't, pay his bills?

And just what is his relationship with Giuliani?

Those questions lurk behind this fascinating NYT piece which explains how Lev got the half-million he paid to Rudy.
It turns out that the money came from a Long Island lawyer named Charles Gucciardo, a Republican donor and supporter of Mr. Trump. The payment was part of a deal in which Mr. Gucciardo would become an investor in a company started by the businessman, Lev Parnas, according to Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Gucciardo’s lawyer and other people familiar with the arrangement.
Mr. Gucciardo’s lawyer, Randy Zelin, said Mr. Gucciardo invested in the company because of Mr. Giuliani’s involvement.

“He understood that he was investing in a reputable company that Rudolph Giuliani was going to be the spokesman and the face of,” Mr. Zelin said, comparing Mr. Giuliani’s role to the one he had played for the personal data-security company LifeLock, which ran commercials featuring Mr. Giuliani. “When you think of cybersecurity, you think of Rudolph Giuliani,” Mr. Zelin said.
You think of Mr. Butt-Dial? Really? I honestly doubt that Rudy Giuliani even knows what a VPN is.

Fraud Guarantee -- Lev's company -- had no customers. Late night comics loved it because it seemed so obviously scammy. Ostensibly, the company was supposed to protect investors -- people like, y'know, Gucciardo.

We are supposed to believe that Gucciardo tossed big money into this pseudofirm because of Rudy Giuliani's involvement. Lev turned right around and handed the money to Rudy Giuliani (who, I've read, has become accustomed to a very high-falutin' lifestyle). It's hard not to suspect that the company existed for the sole purpose of paying Trump's lawyer.

Incidentally, the NYT reveals that Giuliani is godfather to Parnas' son. Both Rudy and Charles Gucciardi attended the kid's circumcision ceremony in 2018, after which Gucciardi handed Lev $250,000 (the second half of the half-million). Looks like the kid wasn't the only one who got clipped.   

Somewhere along the way, Gucciardo, Parnas and Anthony Scaramuci took a trip to Israel together. The picture to your right documents the occasion.

Good ol' Mooch has switched sides. Perhaps he can tell us more than what he told the NYT team...
“Those two guys were operators and they were definitely trying to rope people into their game, whatever their game was,” said Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly the White House communications director for Mr. Trump and who was on the Israel trip. He said Mr. Fruman and Mr. Parnas often cited their connections in Mr. Trump’s orbit, and particularly to Mr. Giuliani.
(By the way: The Mooch's twitter feed has become genuinely interesting. Check out this offering.)

You may not know that conspiracy buffs and fringe-dwellers have often fixated on Long Island. If Gucciardo had favored a Democrat, InfoWars readers would make him the centerpiece of a dozen weird localized theories. Perhaps they would accuse him murdering Shannon Gilbert, or of blowing up TWA 800. Or perhaps they'd say that he was bio-engineered during the infamous Montauk Project. Or perhaps -- since that house is within walking distance of his law offices -- they would give serious consideration to the possibility that he helped Ron DeFeo commit the "Amityville Horror" murders.

Mr. Gucciardo, if you read these words, please don't take offense. Knowing that you are a Trump supporter, I thought I'd decorate the place with a few wild conspiracy theories, just to make you feel at home.

Organized crime...? Just for grins, I looked into the wackiest of these theories -- the Amityville thing -- and believe it or not, I soon found myself exploring a research trail which may have actual merit.

The movies don't tell you that the DeFeo family had a connection to the Genovese crime family; for a while, Ron tried to claim that mobsters committed the murders which ignited the Amityville legend. And lo and behold, another Genovese connection came up when I googled the name Gucciardo. I haven't read the book Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto's Last War, but Google reveals that page 96 contains this passage:
At a considerably less gaudy wedding a decade later, Montagna married Kellice Gucciardo, who was related to members of the Gambino and Genovese families.
"Montagna" refers to Salvatore Montagna, a.k.a. "Sal the Ironworker," former boss of the Bonnano family. His marriage to Kellice (which may be compared to the dynastic intermarriages familiar from European history) took place in the 1990s. Before his rather spectacular death in 2011, Sal Montagna lived in (but of course!) Long Island.

Is Kellice Gucciardo related to Charles Gucciardo? So far, I haven't seen proof. The search is hampered by the fact that "Kellice" can be both a male and female name, and by the fact that we don't know the name currently used by the widow of Sal the Ironworker. (Added note: She may now live in Oregon.)

Thus, we can't say that Charles Gucciardo, funder of the president's lawyer, has any relationship to any New York crime family. But we can link him to Lev Parnas, who may be considered part of the Dmitry Firtash criminal organization.

Y'know, the world was a safer place when the Italians ran organized crime. Those Slavs are nuts.
Comments:
@MrMike: R. Stone appearance report , midday Thursday. From a video shown on MSNBC.

Rather conservative suit, not particularly well-fitting (borrowed?). Definitely looking unhappy.
 
The Italians were only one half of The Syndicate.

The other half are still doing just fine.
 
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