Michael Cohen Could Be Charged By End Of August With $20 Million Bank Fraud
President Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, could be criminally charged by the end of August, CNN reported on Sunday.
Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud, including over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi business of his family. The loans in question came from two New York financial institutions, Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union, according to the New York Times. Investigators are reportedly looking into whether Cohen falsified the value of his assets in order to secure the hefty loans, and whether he reported all his earnings from his taxi medallions to the Internal Revenue Service. The federal authorities also looking into whether Cohen used campaign money to help to pay off women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump before the 2016 election.
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The investigation into Cohen, which is being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, could be of interest for investigations against the president for possible collusion with the Russian government ahead of the 2016 election. Some sort of plea deal in which Cohen, once viewed as one of Trump’s most loyal aides, would likely entail that he provide information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading the Russia investigation — in exchange for leniency.
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Trump’s longtime personal lawyer has said that he’s open to the idea. Vox reported last month that Cohen “strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — even if that puts President Trump in jeopardy.”
“My wife, my daughter, and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” Cohen said. “I put my family and country first.”
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