Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years

The Government asked for four years. The Judge sentenced Cohen to three years. Michael Cohen said he accepted full blame because "time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his [Trump's]dirty deeds."

This sentence covers not only his campaign finance violations, but his tax evasion, lying to Congress and bank fraud. (The sentence for lying to Congress (about the Trump Org. Moscow project which never came to fruition) was two months, but it was ordered to run concurrently (at the same time) as the financial/fraud crimes.)

He also has to forfeit $500,000. and pay $1.39 million in restitution and a $50,000. fine.

He has until March to surrender to the designated federal facility. The Judge agreed to recommend the camp at Otisville, which is the place most white collar Jewish defendants want to go.

Lanny Davis will now change roles to become Cohen's media spokesman. In that role today, he said Cohen will cooperate with Congressional inquiries about Trump.

It seems obvious to me that what Cohen refuses to talk about is matters involving his family, particularly his in-laws. [More...]

I think Cohen became willing to throw Trump under the bus when he realized no pardon bone would come his way. His family is another matter.

Over the past eight months, Cohen’s father-in-law has given at least $20 million in loans to Yasya Shtayner, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show. Her family owns Chicago Medallion Management Corp., which manages 368 taxicabs, including 22 owned by Cohen.

Shtayner and her husband Semyon Shtayner — Chicago Medallion Management’s corporate secretary — were identified in a warrant the FBI used to raid Cohen’s law office and home, looking for documents relating to his business interests as well as his $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from discussing her alleged dalliance with Trump, according to a CNN report. (my emphasis)...Shusterman and the Shtayners, all immigrants from Ukraine to New York City in the 1970s, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Shusterman has a condo in the Trump World Tower near the United Nations in New York. He and Shtayner also owns condos in another Trump development in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, outside Miami. In 1993, Shusterman pleaded guilty to federal income-tax fraud relating to his taxicab business in New York. He paid a $5,000 fine and served two years of probation.

Cohen has 32 taxi medallions in New York City and 22 in Chicago. The Chicago medallions were operated by another problematic individual and former business partner of Cohen named Symon Garber. After splitting with Garber,Cohen became partners with Evgeny Freidman, an immigrant from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Both of Mr. Cohen’s taxi partners had a history of legal run-ins. Each has been made to pay more than $1 million for overcharging their drivers, according to the New York State attorney general. Former business partners also accused each of them of forging signatures, stiffing lawyers and dodging debt collection efforts.

The New York Times reported on Cohen's thorny taxi issues here. After going through all the loans Cohen has taken out, it reports:

It was unclear what Mr. Cohen has done with all the money he has borrowed in recent years. But he received some of the funds around the time that he and his father-in-law, Mr. Shusterman, lent a combined $26 million to a Ukrainian immigrant and taxi-fleet operator named Semyon Shtayner, real estate records show.

The transactions were unusual: Mr. Shtayner has had nearly $1.7 million in judgments and liens against him over the years, yet Mr. Cohen made large loans backed by collateral that appears to be worth less than the value of the loans. Since 2012, Mr. Cohen has lent $6 million to Mr. Shtayner...who recently entered the marijuana cultivation business in Nevada.

Then there are Cohen's medical companies in New York City that "operate on the fringe."

There were two medical practices, an acupuncture office, two medical billing companies, two management companies and a transportation company. Mr. Cohen sold 172 Rivington Street, left, for $10 million in cash in 2014. That same day, he sold three other buildings in cash transactions. The total price for the four buildings was $32 million, nearly triple what he had paid for them in the span of no more than three years.

...The ventures were noteworthy, in part, because they were created at a time when countless phony companies were cropping up to exploit so-called no-fault auto insurance laws in New York and other states. Hundreds of doctors, businesses owners and others would eventually be criminally charged or accused of fraud by insurance companies.

Cohen did not get charged in the scams.

The no-fault insurance schemes, which were often masterminded by organized crime figures from the former Soviet Union, all followed a basic template. Staged or exaggerated car accidents were used to generate a tidal wave of “patients.” Transportation companies then took the patients — often low-level criminals — to what in many instances were sham medical clinics, diagnostic testing offices, and acupuncture and physical therapy offices. Billing companies were created to collect money from insurers, and management companies then siphoned the funds out to the scheme’s operators. Some operators were so bold that they sued insurers that had stopped paying after they realized they were being defrauded.

While Cohen was not charged, two of the doctors who signed the incorporation papers for his medical practice were charged in connection with different medical practices.

Dr. Martirosov was arrested and charged with insurance fraud and grand larceny in 2003. A little more than a year earlier, Mr. Cohen had registered Avex Medical Care in Dr. Martirosov’s name.

In 2005, Dr. Kanevsky was indicted on state racketeering charges, the result of a lengthy wiretap investigation into phony accidents and medical claims. Mr. Cohen had registered Life Quality Medical Care on Dr. Kanevsky’s behalf in April 2002. Dr. Kanevsky pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud in the second degree.

The charges against Dr. Martirosov were later dropped, but he was named in a civil RICO suit by Allstate "accused dozens of doctors and business owners of trying to defraud insurers."

Then there's Cohen's personal injury practice.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Cohen’s personal injury practice filed hundreds of lawsuits largely stemming from auto accidents. For part of that time, a bustling bullpen of clerks and paralegals worked the phones at his Long Island City office. They sought settlements with insurers and churned out suits on behalf of clients, many of whom were referred to clinics that were later caught up in no-fault insurance fraud investigations.

In one case he filed, both his client and the defendant ended up being charged with insurance fraud.

There's also his real estate investments. Between 2011 and 2015, he used limited liability companies to buy 5 Manhattan buildings with "unconventional" funding." He sold 4 of them on the same day for cash, making huuge profits. This was Cohen's explanation.

So this is why I suspect the matters about which Cohen refused to provide information pertain to his and his family's financial dealings. He seems willing enough to give up Trump, but not his family jewels. Three years in Otisville is a kiss for him. Cooperating his way paid off.

I think Manafort will get a different kiss, in the form of a commutation (to time served). As may Rod Blagojevich who is still serving his 14 year uber-sentence. His wife says she hopes he'll be home by Christmas. After all, it happened for Sholom Rubashkin, the meat plant owner in Iowa serving 27 years whom Trump pardoned last December.

< Manafort Hearing Today (Tuesday) | Trump Denies Telling Cohen to "Break the Law" >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Can we at least free 100 black kids... (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 13, 2018 at 10:12:15 AM EST
    ...who got the same three years for some bullsh*t drug possession conviction? Without the benefit of any doubt that Cohen will get.

    Comment I read. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by vml68 on Thu Dec 13, 2018 at 12:08:51 PM EST
    So for his crimes he gets only 36 months, meanwhile the rest of us were sentenced to 48 months of Trump! Doesn't seem equitable.

    You know what (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Dec 13, 2018 at 12:11:54 PM EST
    I am closing on the point where I would be almost as happy to the the Kushners charged

    Cohen now has a strong incentive (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 12, 2018 at 05:03:35 PM EST
    to double down on his cooperation with prosecutors within the first year of his sentence. See my comment #17 on the previous Cohen thread. As for Blago vs. Rubashkin, remember that Rubashkin's excessive sentence was a cause célèbre among the ultra-Orthodox Jews who rallied behind the Tr*mp campaign. His commutation rewarded their support and reflected their access. Does Blago have equivalent support among any group of Tr*mpsters?

    Interested in reading the transcript (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 12, 2018 at 10:07:05 PM EST
    Of today's sentencing.

    David Bossie (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Dec 13, 2018 at 12:27:33 PM EST
    My money is on David Bossie.

    The (none / 0) (#7)
    by FlJoe on Thu Dec 13, 2018 at 03:49:05 PM EST
    hits they keep a coming
    Manhattan-based federal prosecutors are investigating whether some of the $107 million in donations to then-President elect Donald Trump's inaugural committee were misspent, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the investigation arose in part from the slew of materials seized in April raids on Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, by federal prosecutors. Cohen on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison on charges that came in part from those April raids on his office and residence.