Trump's Former Lawyer Cohen Investigated for $20 Million in Fraud

Loans reported by the New York Times are part of an investigation into whether Michael Cohen committed bank and tax fraud

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
In a Monday, July 30, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, formerly a lawyer for President Trump, leaves his hotel, in New York.
In a Monday, July 30, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen, formerly a lawyer for President Trump, leaves his hotel, in New York.Credit: Richard Drew,AP
Reuters
Reuters

Federal prosecutors are focused on over $20 million in loans obtained by U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen from taxi businesses owned by him and his family, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

The loans are part of an investigation into whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He has not been charged with any crime.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the loans were from Sterling National Bank and Melrose Credit Union, two New York institutions that do business with the taxi industry.

Neither Cohen nor his lawyer immediately responded to a request for comment. Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, which is investigating Cohen, declined to comment.

A spokesman for Sterling National Bank, which is the principal subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp, declined to comment. Melrose Credit Union did not immediately reply to emails.

The investigation is trying to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, the newspaper said.

They are also examining how he handled the income and whether he failed to report it to the Internal Revenue Service, the Times said.

The probe is in its last phase and prosecutors are considering filing charges by the end of August, the newspaper said, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.

The two lenders were named in search warrants for raids that searched Cohen's office, home and a hotel room where he was staying, several of the people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.

Sterling received a grand jury subpoena seeking records related to the loans, one of the people said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized documents and files as part of investigations by federal prosecutors in New York stemming from a referral by the U.S. special counsel's office, which is looking into possible coordination between Trump 2016 campaign aides and Russia.

Moscow denies interfering in the U.S. election and Trump denies collusion by his campaign, describing the probe as a political witch hunt.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op