Michael Cohen, already under pressure from a federal criminal investigation into his business and financial dealings, has been hit this month with more than $185,000 in new state warrants for unpaid taxes on his taxicab companies.
Added to his previous tab, that brings the total to $282,000 owed to New York state by 16 taxi medallion-holding companies owned by Cohen or members of his family, including Mad Dog Cab Corp., Smoochie Cab Corp., Golden Child Cab Corp. and N.Y. Futon Taxi Corp. A lawyer for Cohen declined to comment.
Cohen, a former Trump Organization Inc. executive, has been President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and has claimed to be a loyal “fixer” for his longtime boss. He claims he drew on a home-equity loan to pay $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, a porn actress who said she had sex with Trump in 2006, to buy her silence in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Before he started working for Trump, Cohen built his wealth in the taxi business in New York and Chicago.
Cohen claims the taxes are owed not by him but by Evgeny “Gene” Friedman, known in New York as “The Taxi King.” Friedman, who operated more than 800 cabs in the city, including Cohen’s, goes on trial in June on charges he pocketed more than $5 million in 50-cent fare surcharges that were supposed to benefit New York mass transit. Friedman’s lawyer says he’s innocent.