Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen investigated for bank fraud, charges may follow: report
U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is under investigation for bank and tax fraud including over USD$20 million in loans, according to an exclusive report from the New York Times, which was later confirmed by CNN.
While reports of Cohen’s alleged tax fraud emerged a few weeks back, federal investigators have reportedly discovered millions in loans obtained by taxi businesses owned by Cohen and his family.
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The Times report goes on to state that the loans came from two federal institutions in New York; Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union. The inquiry is reportedly in its final stage, and investigators are considering filing charges against the president’s former “fixer” by the end of August.
The report comes from multiple sources familiar with the matter and adds that Cohen is under further investigation for any laws he potentially broke by arranging financial payoffs to women who claimed they’d had affairs with Trump, including a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
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The New York Times report stated that Cohen’s legal team refused to comment for its article.
It’s important to note that while investigators say they are finalizing the charges, the date when the charges will be laid remains fluid, and Cohen has yet to be charged with any crime, CNN reports.
The probe is trying to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain loans, and whether he mishandled the income or failed to report it to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized documents and files from Cohen as part of an investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. This investigation stemmed from a referral by the U.S. special counsel’s office, which is looking into possible co-ordination 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.
–With files from Reuters.
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