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Stanley Cohen Tag

So ... I just noticed that Stanley Cohen, the pro-Hamas tax convict who, after release from prison, was held out as representing some anti-Israel teenager even though his law license was suspended, has blocked me on Twitter. I think this tweet of mine is what did it: Here are some others. It's not a complete list, for sure. This is just from memory.

The last we wrote about Stanley Cohen was when he was released from prison in late December 2015, “Hamas lawyer” Stanley Cohen out of prison. Cohen jumped right back into things, taking on the issue of New Jersey teenager Bethany Koval who was questioned by her school administrators over some pro-Hamas, anti-Israel tweets which the administrators claimed might constitute cyber bullying of other students. (She has walked back the pro-Hamas tweet and turned her account private.) When Koval went public with the possible discipline, including secretly recording a meeting with a school administrator, it created a several day media frenzy, and Cohen was right in the middle of it. I found out about Cohen's involvement when I saw people tweeting the link to Cohen's interview yesterday by Russia Today: I was surprised that Cohen was introduced as Koval's's attorney.

You may remember our coverage of the federal prosecution of Stanley Cohen on a charge of failing to file federal income tax returns for several years. Cohen pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, starting January 2015. It appears Cohen was just released, though it's unclear if it is to a halfway house or some other arrangement. Cohen was a particularly flamboyant character. Cohen was termed "Hamas lawyer" because of his love for and allegiance to Hamas: [caption id="attachment_111907" align="alignnone" width="500"][Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Ismail Abu Shanab] [Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Ismail Abu Shanab][/caption]Cohen re-pledged his allegiance to Hamas even as he was pleading guilty in court:

One chapter in the saga of Stanley Cohen has closed, another started. Cohen was to report today to prison to begin serving his 18 month sentence, the result of a plea bargain, for concealing and failing to report large cash transactions and failing to file income tax returns for several years. Cohen pledged during his criminal case that he would rather serve 18 months than dine with a Zionist. Twitter - @StanleyCohenLaw - Rather serve 18 mos than dine with Zionist Cohen left for prison with his supporters singing the tune that he was a political prisoner.  Cohen still sees himself that way as well, with the last tweet from his Twitter account, as of this writing, showing him sharing the claim that he's a political prisoner: On January 5, 2015, Cohen issued a statement via Twitter, ending with these words:
Pray for Palestine and Bless the Resistence. Up the Rebels everywhere. They cannot stop us.

The saga of Stanley Cohen took an unexpected twist recently. For background, see our Stanley Cohen Tag. Short version: Cohen is a virulently anti-Israel, pro-Hamas lawyer who has defended many high-profile terrorists in court. Cohen pleaded guilty to obstructing the IRS and failing to file income tax returns for several years. He admitted in open court that the government could prove its allegations of multi-year effort by Cohen to conceal cash transactions and to fail to report income. Cohen was sentenced to 18 months in prison on November 21, 2014, and must report to prison on January 6, 2015. There were multiple delays in his plea appearance, which struck me as odd at the time, particularly since the court record reflected that he was traveling abroad in the Middle East Gulf states. Not exactly the place you would expect to allow a person to go on the eve of a guilty plea. Cohen did return, however; he appeared in court, and then came the explanation about his trip to the Gulf states: Cohen apparently was engaged in an ultimately futile effort to obtain the release of ISIS hostage Peter Kassig, who later would be beheaded. The Guardian has the story, The race to save Peter Kassig:

We have long followed the saga of Stanley Cohen, an attorney best known for his representation of and allegiance to Hamas. Stanley Cohen Twitter Support Hamas October 20 2014 Cohen pleaded guilty to tax charges relating to his elaborate use of cash transactions to conceal income and his failure to file income tax returns for several years. The evidence was overwhelming, to put it mildly. When Cohen entered his plea last April, he admitted that the government could prove its case. Today, Cohen was sentenced in federal court in Syracuse, NY, to 18-months in prison as set forth in his plea deal. Here is the entry in the court docket late this afternoon:

Lawyer Stanley Cohen pleaded guilty last spring to federal charges related to his scheme to conceal income through cash transactions elaborately orchestrated to cover his tracks. He also failed to file income tax returns. See our prior posts: We noted before that Cohen was obsessively anti-Israel, so much so that he announced he'd rather serve 18 months in prison than dine with a Zionist. Cohen may get his wish, as his plea deal calls for an 18-month sentence, though I don't think the court is bound by that. The sentencing was supposed to take place today, but has been postponed a week because -- according to the court docket -- two new letters, which are not public, were received. In typical Cohen fashion, he claimed political persecution by Zionists, and his supporters sang along with his anti-Zionist conspiracy theories. Because the Zionists made him stock his safe deposit box full of cash, arrange money orders and physical cash transfers to cover his tracks, and fail to file income tax returns -- or something. Those Zionists sure are tricky, aren't they Stan, they made you do all those illegal things and then caught you and charged you, and even made you admit in open court that the prosecutors could prove their case. NBC News reported (and quoted me), Terror Suspects' Lawyer Stanley Cohen Rants Before Prison Sentence:
A Hamas-defending, Israel-slamming Jew, Cohen simultaneously confounds and agitates. He’s known for f-bomb-laced rants against what he calls a “Zionist hijacking” of his religion. He demeans the tax charge to which he pleaded guilty in April as a government attempt “to silence me.” ....

Stanley Cohen is an activist lawyer most identified with Hamas and other anti-Israeli causes and groups. Late last month The Jewish Daily Forward had an extensive article about Cohen's political journey to anti-Zionism, including representation of Hamas and Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who was convicted last month. It appears from the timing that Cohen's plea deal was timed to allow him to finish the al-Qaeda trial: Cohen was indicted in August 2012 in the Northern District of New York on a variety of tax-related charges.  The Indictment is embedded at the bottom of this post, but the gist of the claims is that he ran his law practice off the books, including receiving and paying for services in cash without reporting, and failing to make tax filings and reporting for many years. When indicted, Cohen was defiant, claiming it was a political prosecution:
.... I am an advocate for many people the government would like to silence or put in jail: Palestinian freedom fighters, Muslim preachers, North American natives living on Indian reservations, marijuana dealers, anti-war protestors, radical squatters, the homeless, "hacktivists", anti-Zionists and everyone in between. I live my ideology in the job I do, and I try to be aggressive in vindicating the rights of clients. I have challenged the state at every opportunity. I'll keep doing this in the Lower East Side, in Washington, DC, in the International Criminal Court in the Hague, in Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza. It is my passion....
Yesterday Cohen released a statement via Twitter to supporters that he would be pleading guilty today.   Once again, Cohen maintained the prosecution was political.  The statement reads in part: