WSJ: Cohen under investigation for tax fraud

President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is under federal investigation for tax fraud after possibly underreporting income from his taxi medallion business, people familiar with the investigation told The Wall Street Journal.

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 8:17 AM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 8:31 AM

Federal prosecutors investigating President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen have subpoenaed his former accountant and are examining whether financial institutions improperly granted loans to Cohen, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The accountant, Jeffrey Getzel, earlier this year received a subpoena from federal prosecutors to testify in front of the grand jury convened in the Cohen case, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. The subpoena was delivered prior to the early April searches by FBI agents of Cohen's home, office and hotel room, this person said.

Getzel performed work, including the preparation of financial statements, for Cohen as part of his taxi medallion business, which prosecutors have been scrutinizing as part of their months-long criminal investigation.

Prosecutors at the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York are also examining the banks that made loans to Cohen and studying whether those banks performed the appropriate vetting of Cohen's loan applications, another person familiar with the matter said. In particular, prosecutors have questioned whether there were individuals within the banks that helped Cohen get loans in instances in which he may not have been qualified to receive them, this person said.

Prosecutors have been scrutinizing a variety of documents submitted by Cohen to various institutions, including those to the Internal Revenue Service and those to Sterling National Bank, another person familiar with the matter said. In 2014, Sterling provided several loans of unspecified value to Cohen and his wife, and the two put up taxi medallions as collateral, according to public filings.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that federal prosecutors subpoenaed Getzel and that prosecutors had taken interest in the banks that gave Cohen loans. The Journal also said investigators were looking at whether Cohen underreported income derived from his taxi business in tax filings.

Typically prosecutors do not seek grand jury testimony of targets of an investigation, so the subpoena of Getzel to testify likely means he is considered a witness in the probe.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office declined to comment. Getzel and his attorney declined to comment. A spokesman for Sterling Bank declined to comment.

An attorney for Cohen, Lanny Davis, declined to comment "because of an ongoing investigation."

Cohen has been under investigation by federal prosecutors for months for a variety of matters, including possible bank fraud and possible election law violations related to payments he made to women who alleged affairs with his former boss, Trump.

Getzel, an accountant based in Woodbury, New York, has other ties to Cohen's orbit. Getzel also performed accounting work for Evgeny Freidman, a former business partner of Cohen who is known as the "Taxi King" for his ownership of numerous taxi medallions. Earlier this year, in May, Freidman pleaded guilty in a case brought by the New York state attorney general's office and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Getzel was considered a potential witness in the state AG's tax fraud case against Freidman, according to a person familiar with the matter.

An attorney for Freidman, Patrick Egan, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497379

Reported Deaths: 9907
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34085530
DeSoto31806398
Hinds31796621
Jackson24303377
Rankin21852387
Lee15413233
Madison14513278
Jones13770241
Forrest13401250
Lauderdale11936314
Lowndes10908184
Lamar10461135
Pearl River9428237
Lafayette8450137
Hancock7690126
Washington7361156
Oktibbeha7110129
Monroe6713173
Warren6635175
Neshoba6606204
Pontotoc6603101
Panola6458131
Marshall6378132
Bolivar6264145
Union595194
Pike5780152
Alcorn5630100
Lincoln5416134
George490479
Scott470698
Tippah464981
Prentiss464181
Leflore4626143
Itawamba4590104
Adams4570119
Tate4539109
Copiah444691
Simpson4419116
Wayne438572
Yazoo437586
Covington427194
Sunflower4215104
Marion4206107
Coahoma4114104
Leake407287
Newton380879
Grenada3691108
Stone358264
Tishomingo355991
Attala330189
Jasper328065
Winston312891
Clay305875
Chickasaw296567
Clarke290294
Calhoun277645
Holmes266587
Smith262550
Yalobusha232347
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217663
Greene215448
Lawrence211140
Perry204555
Amite203454
Webster201645
Noxubee184940
Montgomery178956
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167338
Tunica158539
Benton147038
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131037
Humphreys128838
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104339
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 811551

Reported Deaths: 15101
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1138721885
Mobile720161315
Madison51829685
Shelby37203339
Baldwin37018538
Tuscaloosa34853599
Montgomery33879718
Lee23097239
Calhoun22095468
Morgan20584368
Etowah19727496
Marshall18224298
Houston17270405
St. Clair15884337
Cullman15257289
Limestone15177197
Elmore14944283
Lauderdale14060294
Talladega13653270
DeKalb12530258
Walker11055363
Blount10071174
Autauga9874146
Jackson9760177
Coffee9171188
Dale8850180
Colbert8768200
Tallapoosa7028194
Escambia6714127
Covington6661179
Chilton6571160
Russell623458
Franklin5926105
Chambers5553142
Marion4942126
Dallas4848199
Clarke472681
Pike4713105
Geneva4557126
Winston4456101
Lawrence4247116
Bibb421186
Barbour355274
Marengo333889
Monroe329062
Randolph324663
Butler323694
Pickens313479
Henry310365
Hale308586
Cherokee299257
Fayette289779
Washington250850
Cleburne245758
Crenshaw243075
Clay238867
Macon229862
Lamar214846
Conecuh185051
Coosa177338
Lowndes173061
Wilcox166738
Bullock151744
Perry137940
Sumter130738
Greene125344
Choctaw86527
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