Cohen's Taxi Partner Plea Deal Suggests Cooperation

Cohen's Taxi Partner Plea Deal Suggests Cooperation

Individuals who attended the Chabad of Port Washington allegedly facilitated contact between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US President Donald Trump by connecting loyalists of Poroshenko with Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime personal lawyer now under criminal investigation by Mueller and New York State, BBC News reported on Wednesday.

We've all seen the reports of Michael Cohen offering his services to a number of companies, but part of his sales pitch included a warning about a certain other Trump ally. That likelihood may now be greater, with Mr. Freidman potentially sharing what he knows with federal prosecutors in NY and the special counsel. Evgeny A. Freidman, a key business associate of Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to a minor tax evasion charge, and agreed to cooperate fully with the government's investigation.

Nonetheless, Mr. Freidman's agreement to cooperate in his tax fraud case in Albany could have larger implications.

Last year, he was charged by then New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with "failure to remit to the New York State Tax Department over $5 million in 50 cent MTA surcharges between 2012 and 2015".

Trump attorney Michael Cohen denied he was paid by the Ukraine to arrange an Oval Office meeting between its president and Donald Trump.

"The "Taxi King" built his empire by stealing from New Yorkers-pocketing money that should instead have been invested in our transportation system", said Schneiderman.

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His plea deal, announced Tuesday, requires Friedman to assist federal prosecutors in the Southern District of ny who have been investigating Cohen's business practices and hush payments to women, the source said, as well as paying the $5 million owed to the state.

Cohen's private office was raided in April by federal agents and several of his business records were seized, including those about payments to Daniels. If Cohen wants to save his own skin, he'll need to work out a plea deal as well and hand over all of his info on Donald Trump.

Cohen's attorney, Stephen Ryan, did not immediately respond to questions about Friedman's plea, but in a Thursday morning Tweet, Cohen sought to distance himself from Friedman.

However, the meeting was in doubt even as Poroshenko was en route to the USA, infuriating Ukranian officials that Cohen took the money, reportedly as high as $600,000, despite not being able to make good on his promise, the BBC reports. NY medallions, valued at over $1 million apiece as recently as 2014, now sell for about $120,000-mostly through bankruptcy and foreclosure sales.

Freidman struggled financially as the value of taxi medallions plummeted. He in turn used personal contacts in a Jewish charity in NY state, Chabad of Port Washington.

Cohen claims Freidman is responsible for the tax debt. Together they managed Cohen's 32 taxi medallions.

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