A longtime business partner of Michael Cohen will reportedly cooperate with authorities to avoid jail time, further tightening the screws on President Donald Trump's embattled personal attorney and fixer.
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.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood confirmed that he will also pay $5 million in restitution to New York State.
Freidman has been Mr Cohen's partner in the taxi business for years, managing cabs for him. Freidman reached the agreement with NY state prosecutors.
"The first of many", Avenatti said of the plea agreement.
The broadened scope of Freidman's cooperation may prove worrisome to Mr Trump as well. Anything that bolsters that inquiry could increase pressure on Mr. Cohen to cooperate with Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who is investigating the 2016 election that led to Mr. Trump's victory.
Federal and state investigators had already been looking into Cohen's businesses as part of a fraud investigation, court documents show.
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Freidman, 46, was once the largest operator of taxi medallions, owning about 800 of the plates that allow taxis to operate in NY, and had helped bring Cohen into the taxi business.
But she and her publicity-friendly attorney have pressed their case in courtrooms in Los Angeles and in NY, as well as on Twitter, claiming that Cohen's campaign-era non-disclosure agreement to keep Clifford from discussing the alleged 2006 affair with the then-reality TV star is invalid. He declared bankruptcy on some of his medallions in 2016 and past year was charged by the NY state attorney general with theft.
He wrote, "Gene Freidman and I are not partners and have never been partners in this business or any other".
Cohen's attorney didn't return phone and email messages seeking comment.
The FBI raided Cohen's home, office, and hotel room last month, and those documents are now undergoing a review, which is being overseen by a special master to determine what falls under attorney-client privilege and what can be used by the government in a potential prosecution of Cohen.
"He's just not involved in the taxis", said former NY mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
State prosecutors said Tuesday that Freidman, who operated 800 taxis between 2012 and 2015, failed to remit a 50-cents-per-ride tax owed to the state.