Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen faces $20M fraud probe

David Tweed
Bloomberg News

U.S. authorities investigating whether President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, committed bank and tax fraud are focusing on more than $20 million of loans obtained by taxi businesses owned by him and his family, the New York Times reported.

Federal investigators are also looking at whether Cohen violated campaign finance or other laws by helping arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women claiming they had affairs with Trump, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter. The inquiry has entered the final stage and prosecutors were considering filing charges by the end of the month, the paper said, citing two of the people.

The total of the bank loans under scrutiny hasn’t been previously reported. The loans came from Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union, two financial institutions in the New York region that have catered to the taxi industry, the Times said. The paper cited business records and people with knowledge of the matter, including a banker who reviewed the transactions.

Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, the paper said.

Cohen and his lawyers declined to comment on the investigation, the Times said. Federal officials in New York and Washington also wouldn’t comment, it said.