Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen is under federal investigation for failing to disclose income from his taxi medallion business on his taxes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Federal investigators are looking into whether Cohen underreported income from his taxi medallion business as thousands of dollars in cash payments over the past five years, The Journal reported.
Investigators are also examining Cohen’s relationship with Sterling National Bank, the bank that provided loans to Cohen’s taxi medallion business.
A source told The Journal that one focus of the inquiry is whether Cohen inflated the value of company assets used as collateral for loans from the bank.
Federal prosecutors subpoenaed Cohen’s former accountant, Jeffrey A. Getzel.
Getzel was also an accountant for Evgeny Freidman, the so-called Taxi King of New York and a former business partner of Cohen’s.
Freidman, a convicted felon, is reportedly cooperating with federal prosecutors in the investigation.
He accepted a plea deal in May in which he admitted he failed to pay $5 million in taxes on his taxi medallion income.
Cohen is also reportedly under investigation over payments he made before the 2016 election to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. The FBI raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room April 9 as part of the investigation.
The investigation is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York rather than the special counsel’s office, which is investigating claims of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government.
It is unclear whether prosecutors hope to force Cohen to cooperate against his former boss in the Russia probe.
Since the raid, Cohen has cut ties with the president.
Cohen’s attorney, the longtime Clinton insider Lanny Davis, released an audio file recorded by Cohen in which he and Trump discussed making payments to a media company that owned the rights to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal’s story about an alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen is also willing to tell the special counsel’s office that Trump had prior knowledge about a June 9, 2016, meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians who wanted to offer the campaign information on Hillary Clinton.
Trump and Trump Jr. have denied knowing about the meeting before it occurred.
Trump alluded to Cohen’s taxi medallion troubles in a July 27 tweet blasting his former lawyer.
…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
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