Federal prosecutors are investigating former Trump attorney Michael Cohen for tax fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Citing “people familiar with the investigation,” the Journal disclosed Tuesday that authorities were probing whether Cohen underreported “thousands of dollars received in cash and other payments over the last five years” from his New York City taxi-medallion business on federal tax returns.
In addition, prosecutors were checking into whether Cohen improperly obtained bank loans for his taxi operation and whether “he didn’t provide adequate documentation” in applying for the assistance.
Investigators were also examining Cohen’s ties to Sterling National Bank, which granted Cohen the loans, and whether he “inflated the value of any of his assets as collateral for loans,” the Journal reported.
In addition, prosecutors continued to analyze whether Cohen had made “misrepresentations or false statements on loan applications,” according to the report.
FBI agents raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room in April — seizing computers, cell phones and documents on various topics, including a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
They were armed with search warrants based in part on information provided by Russia special counsel Robert Mueller.
Cohen has not been charged and has denied wrongdoing.
His lawyer, Lanny Davis, declined to comment “out of respect for the ongoing investigation.”
According to the Journal, investigators also subpoenaed Cohen’s former accountant, Jeffrey Getzel, who prepared many of the financial statements Cohen submitted to banks.
Getzel also served as an accountant for Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, a taxi-medallion manager who worked with Cohen, according to public court records cited by the Journal.
Freidman is cooperating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in the probe.
Freidman’s lawyer, Patrick Egan, said: “In Mr. Freidman’s interest, I cannot make any public statement regarding an ongoing criminal investigation.”
In addition, representatives for Getzel, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Sterling Bank declined to comment.
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