Longtime Cohen Business Partner Agrees to Plea Deal

Posted May 25, 2018

A longtime business associate of President Trump's former personal attorney has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal reached with prosecutors in NY, a source familiar with the agreement told ABC News.

He has agreed to pay restitution and judgments totaling $5 million to the state, the attorney general's office said.

Freidman, a Russian immigrant nicknamed the "Taxi King," has been partners with Cohen in the taxi business for years, the Times reported.

Freidman faced felony charges in NY of criminal tax fraud and grand larceny.

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A NY federal judge has postponed to next week a hearing in the case brought by President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen to limit prosecutors' review of documents seized from his home and office.

Bureau investigators are now said to be investigating how Cohen got the money for that payment - and whether he committed a felony by taking out a loan while lying about what the cash was for.

"A no jail time deal like this strongly suggests a level of cooperation significant enough to incriminate other significant subjects", he said. Sater is said to be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election.

The Ukrainian investigation into Manafort did not end following the visit with Trump, according to the BBC, which said the file was passed on to the state prosecutor's office, where it did not move forward.

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In 2015, Sater emailed Cohen and an unidentified Russian contact about his desire to aid Putin's effort to elevate Trump to the presidency in 2016.

Freidman texted a New York Times reporter about the article that had been published about his guilty plea, calling it "shameful" and comparing it to a tabloid story.

A Ukrainian lawmaker loyal to Poroshenko then drew on personal contacts with the Port of Washington Chabad, which is a Jewish charity in NY, and this, the BBC reports, led them to Cohen, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On Wednesday, Cohen tweeted: "I am one of thousands of medallion owners who entrust management companies to operate my medallions according to the rules of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission". Agents searched his home and office, as well as his hotel room, for documents last month, acting in part on a referral from Mueller's office.

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"Today the "Taxi King" admitted that he built his empire by stealing from New Yorkers", Underwood said in a statement. And that's why I've said repeatedly that I think ultimately he's going to flip on the president of the United States.