Trump Lawyer Cohen's Business Partner Flips - to Cooperate With Investigation

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Trump Lawyer Cohen's Business Partner Flips - to Cooperate With Investigation

If anybody knows where the taxi medallion bodies are buried, it is surely New York's taxi king, whom prosecutors gave a PRETTY SWEET DEAL - five years of probation when he was facing 100 years of hard time for felony tax fraud.

With Freidman's plea, Cohen may now need to weigh whether to begin talks with prosecutors before they amass enough evidence from other sources to make his cooperation unnecessary.

According to the BBC, several sources in Ukraine said Mr. Poroshenko, believing that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was sure to win the presidency, had authorized the leak of a document published by The New York Times in August, 2016, that appeared to show Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's presidential campaign manager, had received millions of dollars from pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, declined to comment, as did Brett Berman, an attorney for Freidman.

Former New York City "Taxi King" Evgeny Freidman's cooperation with authorities could put more pressure on Cohen - whose businesses are being probed by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan - to pursue a plea agreement himself on possible federal charges.

CNN previously reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation searches included a request for documents related to Cohen's ownership of taxi medallions and sought information about taxi owners who had financial dealings with Cohen.

That question should frighten both Cohen and President Trump's legal team.

Meanwhile, one of Cohen's longtime business ventures was buying licenses, or medallions, to operate taxi cabs in New York City and elsewhere.

Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine, which is a legal requirement for such an action.

Cohen's duties for Trump included setting up a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with porn star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, who has alleged she had a sexual encounter with the then-real estate mogul in 2006.

The value of a taxi medallion reached a high of $1.2 million each in 2014, but their value has slumped to about $300,000 amid the rise of ride-hailing services such as Uber.

Freidman, known as New York's "Taxi King", was indicted on state charges past year by then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who alleged Freidman and others failed to pay $5 million in MTA surcharges between 2012 and 2015.

"Poroshenko's inner circle were shocked by how dirty this whole arrangement (with Cohen) was", a Ukranian source told the BBC.

The charges last June alleged Freidman and his chief financial officer, Andrea Dumitru, 42, of Queens, ran a scheme to withhold the funds by improperly filing or failing to file returns, failing to pay the tax on filed returns and by filing false returns. During that period of time, he was operating taxis controlled by Cohen, according to people familiar with their relationship.

Freidman pleaded guilty in Albany to one count of evading $50,000 worth of taxes.

"The Taxi King admitted that he built his empire by stealing from New Yorkers", New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood said. "Freidman pocketed money that should have provided much-needed investment in our transit system - and now he'll have to pay back every cent".

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