$20 Million Bank Fraud Scandal Announced By NY Times; W.H. Spiral Continues

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On April 9, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room were raided by the FBI as part of their investigation into possible bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. Since then, there have been several developments in the investigation.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that federal authorities have now zeroed in on over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses that Cohen and his family own. According to The Times:

‘Investigators are also examining whether Mr. Cohen violated campaign finance or other laws by helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump. The inquiry has entered the final stage and prosecutors are considering filing charges by the end of August, two of the people said.’

Any criminal charges against Cohen would significantly hurt Mr. Trump. Cohen worked for the Trump Organization for over 10 years and has been one of his most loyal and visible aides, even calling himself the president’s personal lawyer after he was elected.

The Times also reported:

‘Federal investigators in New York are seeking to determine whether Mr. Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans, which exceed $20 million.

‘They are also examining how he handled the income from his taxi medallions and whether he failed to report it to the Internal Revenue Service.’

His lenders were also cited in warrants for the raids that took place in April, and Sterling received a subpoena for records related to one of the loans. Although it isn’t suspected that either of the banks suffered a loss as a result of Cohen’s missed payments, bank fraud without a loss is sometimes charged in conjunction with other crimes such as the ones committed by Cohen.

According to The Times:

‘At this late stage of the inquiry, it is still possible that Mr. Cohen may plead guilty rather than face an indictment. He has hinted publicly and has stated explicitly in private that he is eager to tell prosecutors what he knows in exchange for leniency.’

It is possible that they could come to a cooperation agreement that would likely include a provision that Cohen would also provide information to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller has been investigating the Trump campaign’s connection to Russian collusion into the 2016 election.

The Times reported:

‘At this late stage of the inquiry, it is still possible that Mr. Cohen may plead guilty rather than face an indictment. He has hinted publicly and has stated explicitly in private that he is eager to tell prosecutors what he knows in exchange for leniency.’

Otherwise, if it is not finalized by the end of August, one source said that prosecutors will likely wait until the election is over so as not to politically influence voters.

As part of the April raid, Cohen’s computer, phone, and personal financial records including tax returns were seized at his office in Rockefeller Center. Federal prosecutors also collected communications between Cohen and his clients.

Here’s what Twitter had to say:

Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube