Cohen claims it’s all politics, but prosecutors detailed pervasive efforts by Cohen to hide cash transactions.
We previously reported last April that Stanley Cohen, an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas attorney — sometimes called “Hamas’ Lawyer”, pleaded guilty in the Northern District of NY federal court to one count of obstructing the administration of the tax laws by failing to keep necessary tax records. Part of that plea deal was that Cohen would plead guilty to a separate case in the Southern District of NY for failing to file tax returns for several years.
Cohen and his supporters portray the prosecutions as persecution because of Cohen’s anti-Israel, anti-US government politics. Cohen attempted to rally supporters to petition the Judge to avoid jail time, but the petition drive failed to gain any momentum.
We now have obtained the transcript of his plea in court (full embed at bottom of post), and it clear why the Feds took an interest in Cohen. In fact, it is surprising he wasn’t more aggressively charged.
Cohen’s scheme to evade tax reporting was pervasive, including operating in a cash economy and storing cash in a safe deposit box. Expenses also were paid in cash. All of this was done in an apparent attempt to evade federal bank reporting requirements, in increments just under $10,000 and through money orders and cash deliveries.
At pages 18-19, prosecutors detailed some of these efforts:
25 Next the government would have produced a senior
1 supervisor from the New York State Police who also was a
2 search team leader for a judicially authorized search warrant
3 at the safe deposit box for a bank account maintained by the
4 defendant. The search of that safe deposit box back in 2009
5 revealed that the defendant had $50,000 in cash in the safe
6 deposit box.
7 The government also would have produced an IRS
8 supervisor who led a search team at the defendant’s residence
9 executing another judicially authorized search warrant. That
10 witness would have testified that a search there found
11 approximately $15,000 in U.S. currency and approximately
12 $1,800 in Canadian currency. That search took place the day
13 after the search of the safe deposit.
14 Official records from the bank where the safe
15 deposit box was kept and testimony from witnesses from that
16 bank would show that the defendant accessed his safe deposit
17 box 77 times from 2006 through 2008. Information from that
18 bank would also show that the defendant made deposits of cash
19 totaling approximately $504,000 at that bank from 2004 to
20 2008. Bank information also would have shown that
21 approximately $183,000 of that amount of cash was deposited
22 by the defendant on days when he had visited his safe deposit
23 box either shortly before or shortly after making the
At pages 20-21, the prosecutors detailed the proof they would present as to one method Cohen used tried to hide his cash income:
18 Next the government would have called a witness who
19 would have testified that the witness would be contacted by
20 the defendant periodically. He would tell the witness that
21 someone would be bringing cash on behalf of his law business,
22 and instruct the witness to go to the Speedway Convenience
23 Plaza located near the Akwesasne Indian Reservation in
24 Northern New York. Once there the witness was directed to
25 cause a wire transfer of cash to be made from a MoneyGram
1 terminal at that location in the defendant’s name and
2 transferring cash to the defendant’s credit card account. On
3 occasion the defendant would direct this witness to wire
4 transfer only a portion of the cash and to take the other
5 portion to locations where individuals on or near the
6 Akwesasne Reservation to hold for the defendant until he
7 could come and pick it up in person.
8 Virtually all of the MoneyGram wire transfers were
9 in amounts less than $10,000. They also were in amounts of
10 thousands of dollars, many of them between 7,000 and $9,700.
11 Those wire transfers took place from October of 2004 through
12 December of 2008 and totaled $643,693.09. And the government
13 would have produced testimony and official records of
14 MoneyGram to establish that fact.
Cohen admitted that the government could prove its case (Transcript, page 24):
THE COURT: So what you’re saying, the government
can make out their case against you on this charge?
THE DEFENDANT: That’s correct.
Cohen had said that he would rather spend 18 months in prison than dine with a Zionist.
Looks like he may be getting his wish.
In the original plea agreement and in a Sentencing Memo (full embed at bottom of post) filed in mid-August, the government notified the court that the government and Cohen had agreed to an 18-month prison sentence (out of the 36 month possible sentence) in resolution of the SDNY and NDNY cases.
Interestingly, the formal sentencing is scheduled for October 21, but the docket also reflects a recent series of sealed letters to the court.
One wonders, is there something going on whereby Cohen’s sentence will be shortened? Is he cooperating with the feds now?
Has he agreed to dine with a Zionist instead of serving 18 months?
We’ll find out when the file is unsealed or he is sentenced in open court.DONATE
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