US charges associate of indicted Russian with lobbying violation


WASHINGTON: US prosecutors on Friday charged a business associate of Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian consultant indicted by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, with failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.

Samuel Patten was charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for lobbying for the Ukrainian Opposition Bloc between 2014 and 2018, without disclosing the work to the US government.

Patten, who is expected to plead guilty at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Patten’s lawyer also did not respond to an email request for comment.

The criminal case was brought by the US Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division and referred by Mueller’s team, according to Bill Miller, a spokesman for the US Attorney’s office.

The charge of violating FARA is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, Miller said.

Patten was a business associate of Kilimnik, a longtime associate of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Manafort was found guilty of bank and tax fraud last week by a jury in Virginia.

Kilimnik was indicted along with Manafort in Washington earlier this year. Manafort is set to go on trial in that case next month on charges that include money laundering and a FARA violation related to his lobbying work in Ukraine.