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Cohen under investigation for over $20M in bank fraud

Cohen under investigation for over $20M in bank fraud

President Trump‘s former lawyer Michael Cohen is being investigated for over $20 million in bank fraud, according to a report from the New York Times.
The New York federal investigators looking into Cohen for bank and tax fraud are reportedly focusing on loans associated with taxi businesses owned by him and his family. They are scrutinizing whether Cohen obtained the more than $20 million in loans by misrepresenting the value of his assets, the Times reported.
Investigators are also looking into whether Cohen failed to report the total income from his taxi businesses to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Times.
Loans from two financial institutions, Sterling National Bank and the Melrose Credit Union, totaling $20 million from December 2014 are part of the inquiry, according to the Times. Cohen reportedly used 32 taxi medallions, the permits allowing taxi drivers to operate, as collateral for the loans from Sterling National Bank.
Cohen is additionally under investigation for possible campaign finance violations, partially related to the $130,000 nondisclosure payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to ensure her silence over an alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
Investigators are reportedly scrutinizing payments Cohen made to several women alleging affairs with the president, including Daniels. Prosecutors are considering filing charges by the end of August, sources familiar with the matter told the Times.
One source said prosecutors would likely wait to bring charges against Cohen until after the November elections if a plea deal is not reached by the end of August.
Cohen and federal officials in Washington, D.C., and New York declined to comment for the report.

Though it was previously reported that Cohen was under investigation for tax and bank fraud, the Times report is the first time the total amount in bank loans has been made public.
More than 1 million documents and materials were seized by the FBI in an April raid of Cohen’s home, office and hotel room.
Special Master Barbara Jones was appointed at the time to review the seized items to determine which are protected by attorney-client privilege. Her final report found more than 7,000 privileged items in total.