A longtime business associate of President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has agreed to cooperate with government prosecutors as part of a plea deal.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Evgeny A. Freidman, a Russian immigrant who is known as the “Taxi King,” agreed to cooperate as a potential witness with state and federal prosecutors in order to avoid jail time. The Times notes that this development could be used as leverage to pressure Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Freidman will reportedly receive five years of probation for pleading guilty Tuesday to a single count of evading $50,000 worth of taxes.
Freidman, who has been partners with Cohen in the taxi business for years, had faced four counts of criminal tax fraud and one of grand larceny, each carrying a possible sentence of up to 25 years.
The Times notes: “Mr. Cohen’s conduct was initially examined by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the 2016 election that led to Mr. Trump’s victory, and then referred to the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Last month, federal agents carried out search warrants at Mr. Cohen’s home, his office and a hotel room where he was staying, seeking documents related to his business associates and accountants.”