Discussion: Investigators Focused On $20 Million-Plus In Loans Obtained By Cohen

Ah, the old “bank fraud tax fraud trap.” You radically overstate earnings and assets when asking for a loan, and then it all goes away for tax purposes.
Another moment when truth (for one) is not truth (for the other).


“The two financial institutions that Cohen used to obtain the loans are Sterling National Bank and Melrose Credit Union, according to the Times’ review of the business records.”

The names of the banks sound fake. A bank should have a real name like…King Kong bank, or Stable Genius bank. Sterling National Bank sounds kinda low energy…sad.


Tweets commence 3…2…1
“This had nothing to do with the Russian investigation
I had nothing to do with Mr Cohen who only worked for me for a short period of time …”


Ahhh yes, the Manafort Method of Wealth Accumulation.

Saw the infomercial for it on the Oxygen network a few months back.


“Michael Cohen, a low IQ liar, was my lawyer for, like, 2 minutes. I only met him once, when he fetched me a Diet Coke.”


It will turn out to have been a good thing that Judge Ellis didn’t sequester the Manafort Jury for the weekend. Over this weekend, the jurors have learned that 2 of Trump’s attorneys are under legal scrutiny and are ratting him out. They’ve watched him completely freak out on Twitter. They’ve watched his ‘lawyer’ Rudy Giuliani admit that they took a meeting with a known conspiratorial purpose and declare that ‘truth isn’t truth’. Then there’s Papado, but that news item was probably a bit too obscure for the jury. Over this weekend, I had almost forgot that the Manafort jury was still in deliberations. That’s how eventful and damning this past weekend was for Team Trump.


Does that publicity open grounds for appeal?

Meanwhile, I’m wondering who leaked this. SDNY is, of course, not as tight-lipped as Mueller’s team, but the complete absence of money-laundering seems peculiar, especially in context. Unless that’s something that stayed in Mueller’s custody.

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My guess is that this was just the easiest thing to prove up against Cohen. The Feds needed something to charge him with, and given that he probably did a 1000 illegal things, this was the easiest to prove up, since you can do with documents.

That they are “leaking” that Cohen will be charged so quickly say that (a) they want to get him charged before November (appropriate) and (b) they are doing it quickly to put the squeeze on Cohen to rat on Trump asap.

The prosecution would rather file a cooperating indictment (or none at all, keep the charges to a single charge with him cooperating) so this is all signalling to someone, by someone.

My out of the box guess is that (1) either Cohen has not yet cooperated, and the prosecution wants to box him in before getting that agreement, and given his prior issues wants a big hammer over him,or (2) they want to signal to others still being interviewed that Cohen is cooperating. They want to give those connected information a chance to come forward or be honest.

A large part of the “cooperation” game is that when a witness cooperates, if helps force other witnesses to be more forthcoming (or just not to lie). Note this is why McGhan was so cooperative, he is perhaps the only smart lawyer near Trump, and did not want to be caught in any lies…


Live emulating (or being) mobsters, become an enforcer for an insane one, try to self enrich based on those tactics - then you risk going down hard like a mobster. Sorry Michael. But the fall may be a tad bit gentler the more you throw more than just shade at the Russian stain in the WH. Go all in - Topple Trump.

Regarding Cohen’s legal troubles, he has a lot of them:

  • $20 million in loans that were obtained through fraudulent financial disclosures (similar to what Manafort is accused of).

  • Failing to report income earned through his taxi business partnerships to the IRS (again…similar to what Manafort is accused of).

Like Manafort, an accountant and a co-conspirator (Evgeny Freidman) are cited as potential (and likely) witnesses against Cohen.

  • Payments to various women on behalf of Trump’s campaign that were not reported as contributions and were intentionally disguised or concealed. These would be criminal violations of the campaign finance laws, but could also have tax consequences. Did he take a business deduction on these payments as expenses?

I think it’s fair to say that the outcome of the Manafort trial could weigh heavily on what Cohen does here. If Manafort were to walk (I still maintain that is unlikely but I’ll be more circumspect to worried if we hear nothing by the end of today), then Cohen might reconsider cooperation and fight an indictment. SDNY might also be more hesitant to prosecute. So that trial does matter. That said, the body language from Cohen over this summer has been decidedly different than Manafort. He’s a young man and has a future still. Lanny Davis is guiding him. He’s talking to John Dean. He wants, like Omarosa, to reinvent himself by outing Trump. That’s the right business and life move for him. I think we’ll know more after this Manafort trial is over, but I get the sense that Cohen is inclined to cut a deal if present assumptions about convictions in tax/real estate fraud cases, even where high profile people are involved, remain intact.


But when the taxman comes to the door
Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale

– John Fogerty

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The investigation into Cohen’s financial dealings is reportedly nearing completion and prosecutors may file charges at the end of August, according to the Times and CNN.

The NYT also said this:

If the matter is not finalized by the end of August, prosecutors probably will wait until after the election, one of the people familiar with the inquiry said in recent weeks. That schedule would conform with the Justice Department’s informal policy of avoiding bringing politically sensitive cases that could influence voters close to an election.

Troubling if true. Too bad Comey did not follow protocol.


One thing you have to say for these guys like Manafort and Cohen taking out these multi-million dollar loans - they were sure optimistic about their futures.


They could have repaid those loans with a single year’s “consulting” revenue if not for those meddling kids.


Be suspicious of NYT-speak. That could be Rudes speaking.

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