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gov.uscourts.nysd.499666.48.1_1

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  3. Case 1:18-cr-00602-WHP Document 48-1 Filed 07/18/19 Page 1 of 269
  4. AO 106 (Rev. 06/09) Application for a Search Warrant
  5. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
  6. for the
  7. Southern District of New York
  8. In the Matter of the Search of
  9. (Briefly describe the property to be searched
  10. or idéntifr the person by name and address)
  11. Four Premises and TWO Electronic Devices, See
  12. Attached Affidavit and Riders
  13. MAG
  14. 2969
  15. APPLICATION FOR A SEARCH WARRANT
  16. I, a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government, request a search warrant and state under
  17. penalty of perjury that I have reason to believe that on the following person or property (identify theperson or describe the
  18. P See Attached Affidavit and Riders
  19. District of
  20. Southern
  21. located in the
  22. person or describe the property to bé seized):
  23. PLEASE SEE ATTACHED AFFIDAVIT AND RIDERS.
  24. New York
  25. , there is now concealed (identify the
  26. The basis for the search under Fed. R. Crim. P. 41 (c) is (check one or more):
  27. evidence of a crime;
  28. contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed;
  29. property designed for use, intended for use, or used in committing a crime;
  30. O a person to be arrested or a person who is unlawfully restrained.
  31. The search is related to a violation of:
  32. Offense Description
  33. Code Section
  34. 18 U.S.C. s 371, 1005, 1014, Conspiracy, false bank entries, false statements to a financial institution,
  35. wire fraud, bank fraud, and
  36. 1343 and 1344, and
  37. illegal campaign contributions
  38. 52 USC 30116 and 30109
  39. The application is based on these facts:
  40. PLEASE SEE ATTACHED AFFIDAVIT AND RIDER.
  41. Continued on the attached sheet.
  42. days (give exact ending date if more than 30 days:
  43. O Delayed notice of
  44. under 18 U.S.C. 3103a, the basis of which is set forth on the attached sheet.
  45. ) is requested
  46. Sworn to before me and signed in my presence.
  47. Date:
  48. 04/08/2018
  49. City and state:
  50. Printed name nard title
  51. Judge 'S signature
  52. Hon. Henry. B. Pitman, IJ.S. Magistrate Judge
  53. Printed name and title
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  56. Case 1:18-cr-00602-WHP Document 48-1 Filed 07/18/19 Page 2 of 269
  57. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
  58. SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
  59. In the Matter of the Application of the United
  60. States of America for a Search and Seizure
  61. Warrant for the Premises Known and Described
  62. as (1) 502 Park Avenue,
  63. York, New York 10022, (2) Michael Cohen's
  64. Office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 23rd Floor, New
  65. York, New York 10112, (3) Safe Deposit Box #
  66. Located at the TD Bank Branch at 500 Park
  67. Avenue, New York, New York 10019, and (4)
  68. Inews
  69. 1728, New York, New York 10065, and Any
  70. Closed Containers/ltems Contained Therein, and
  71. the Electronic Devices Known and Described as
  72. (1) an Apple iPhone with Phone Number
  73. — and (2) an Apple iPhone with Phone
  74. Number
  75. Reference No. 2018R00127
  76. SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK) ss.•.
  77. TO BE FILED UNDER SEAL
  78. Agent Affidavit in Support of
  79. Application for Search and Seizure
  80. Warrant
  81. Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation, being duly sworn,
  82. deposes and says:
  83. I. Introduction
  84. A. Affiant
  85. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). I have been
  86. 1.
  87. a Special Agent with the FBI since 2009. In the course of my experience and training in these
  88. positions, I have participated in criminal investigations into federal offenses involving a wide array
  89. of financial crimes, including frauds on financial institutions, as well as into offenses involving
  90. public corruption. I also have training and experience executing search warrants, including those
  91. involving electronic evidence.
  92. I make this Affidavit in support of an application pursuant to Rule 41 of the Federal
  93. 2.
  94. Rules of Criminal Procedure for a warrant to search the premises specified below (the "Subject
  95. 2
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  99. Case 1:18-cr-00602-WHP Document 48-1 Filed 07/18/19 Page 3 of 269
  100. Premises") and the electronic devices specified below (the "Subject Devices") for, and to seize,
  101. the items and information described in Attachments A, B, C, D, E and F. This affidavit is based
  102. upon my personal knowledge; my review ofdocuments and other evidence; my conversations with
  103. other law enforcement personnel; and my training, experience and advice received concerning the
  104. use of electronic devices in criminal activity and the forensic analysis of electronically stored
  105. information ("ESI"). Because this affidavit is being submitted for the limited purpose of
  106. establishing-probablecause, it-doesnotinclude-all-the:facts-thatl have learned during-the-course=
  107. of my investigation. Where the contents of documents and the actions, statements, and
  108. conversations ofothers are reported herein, they are reported in substance and in part, except where
  109. otherwise indicated.
  110. B. The Subject Premises and Subject Devices
  111. Subject Premises-I, Subject Premises-2, Subject Premises-3 and Subject Premises-
  112. 3.
  113. 4 (collectively, the "Subject Premises") are particularly described as:
  114. located inside the building at 502
  115. Subject Premises-I is Apartment
  116. a.
  117. Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022. The building located at 502 Park Avenue is a 32-
  118. floor of the building.
  119. floor brick residential building. Subject Premises-I is located on the
  120. Based on my review of New York City property records, I have learned that Michael Cohen and
  121. Laura Cohen own Subject Premises-1.1 Additionally, as described below, Subject Premises-I is
  122. Cohen's full-time residence.
  123. Subject Premises-2 is an offce located on the 23rd floor of the building at
  124. b.
  125. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York 10112. The building located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza
  126. I As noted infra, I have learned that on or about October 28, 2015, Cohen transferred Subject
  127. Premises-I into a trust.
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  133. is a 66-floor office building that spans the entire block between Sixth Avenue and Rockefeller
  134. Plaza. Subject Premises-2 is located on the 23rd floor of the building inside of the offices of the
  135. law firm Squire Patton Boggs. The office is assigned to Michael Cohen. As described below,
  136. Michael Cohen works and conducts meetings at Subject Premises-2.
  137. Subject Premises-3 is a safety deposit box located inside the TD Bank
  138. c.
  139. branch location at 500 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10019. Based on my review ofrecords
  140. ¯¯maintained learned that-the-safety-deposit box is approximately-five inchesby
  141. The safety deposit box is in the name of Michael
  142. ten inches in size, and is marked as box
  143. Cohen and Laura Cohen.
  144. Subject Premises-4 is Room 1728 located inside the Loews Regency Hotel
  145. d.
  146. at 540 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10065. The building is a luxury hotel located on Park
  147. Avenue and 61st Street. Subject Premises-4 is located on the 17th floor of the hotel. Based on my
  148. review of emails obtained pursuant to search warrants described below, I have learned that on or
  149. about January 5, 2018, Cohen received an email from an employee of Loews Regency, which
  150. included a price quote for a long-term stay suite based on a three-month stay from January 8 to
  151. April 8, 2018.2 On or about January 29, 2018, Cohen sent an email to a Loews Regency employee,
  152. stating, in pertinent part: "I just spoke to my wife and she has scheduled the move for Thursday.
  153. Please mark down that we will be taking possession on Thursday, February 1st." Based on my
  154. leview of cell phone location data, I have learned that, over the past 24 hours, two cellular phones
  155. used by Cohen have been located in the vicinity of Subject Premises-4. In particular, on or about
  156. 2 Although the quoted price contemplated a three-month stay from January 8 to April 8, it appears
  157. that Cohen did not move in until February 1, and as of today, April 8, cellphone location
  158. information demonstrates that Cohen's cellular phones are in still in the vicinity of Subject
  159. Premises-4.
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  165. April 8, 2018, law enforcement agents using a "triggerfish" device identified Room 1728 as the
  166. room within the hotel in which the Subject Devices are most likely present.3
  167. e.
  168. Premises-4.
  169. Therefore, I believe that Cohen is temporarily residing in Subject
  170. Subject Device-I and Subject Device-2 (collectively, the "Subject Devices") are
  171. 4.
  172. particularly described as:
  173. Subject Device—1äs-an-Apple-iPhoneserviced by-A-T-&-T-with the-telephone
  174. Based on my review of records maintained by AT&T, I have learned that Subject
  175. Device-I is subscribed to Michael Cohen. Based on my review ofcellphone location information
  176. maintained by AT&T, I have learned that Subject Device-I is presently located in the Southern
  177. District of New York.
  178. b. SubjectDevice-2 is an Apple iPhone serviced by AT&Twiththetelephonenumber
  179. Based on my review of records maintained by AT&T, I have learned that Subject
  180. Device-2 is subscribed to Michael Cohen. Based on my review of cellphone location information
  181. maintained by AT&T, I have learned that Subject Device-2 is presently located in the Southem
  182. District of New York.
  183. c. Based on my training, experience, and research, and from consulting the
  184. manufacturer's and service providers' advertisements and product technical specifications
  185. available online, I know that the Subject Devices have capabilities that allow them to, among other
  186. things: make and receive telephone calls; save and store contact information; send and receive
  187. 3 Based on my conversations with these agents, I understand that it is also possible that the Subject
  188. Devices are one floor below, in Room 1628. However, as noted, I understand that Cohen received
  189. a price quote for a long-term stay suite and is residing there with his family. Based on my
  190. conversations with FBI agents conducting surveillance, I understand that Room 1728 appears to
  191. be a suite, whereas Room 1628 appears to be a standard room.
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  197. emails and text messages; download and run mobile telephone applications, including encrypted
  198. call and messaging application such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Dust; take, send, and receive
  199. pictures and videos; save and store notes and passwords; and store documents.
  200. C. The Subject Offenses
  201. For the reasons detailed below, I believe that there is probable cause to believe that
  202. 5.
  203. the Subject Premises and Subject Devices contain evidence, fruits, and instrumentalities of
  204. institution), 1343 (wire fraud), and 1344 (bank fraud) (collectively, the "Bank Fraud Offenses"),
  205. 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(1)(A) and 30109(d)(1)(A)(1) (illegal campaign contributions) (the
  206. "Campaign Finance Offenses"), and 18 U.S.C. 371 (conspiracy as it pertains to the other
  207. Subject Offenses) (collectively, the "Subject Offenses").
  208. D. Prior Applications
  209. 6. The FBI and the United States Attomey's Office for the Southern District of New
  210. York ("USAO") have been investigating several courses of criminal conduct by Michael Cohen.
  211. Cohen is an attorney who currently holds himselfout as the personal attomey for President Donald
  212. Trump, and who previously served for over a decade as an executive in the Trump Organization,
  213. an international conglomerate with real estate and other holdings.
  214. In connection with an investigation then being conducted by the Office of the
  215. 7.
  216. Special Counsel ("SCO"), the FBI sought and obtained from the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, Chief
  217. United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, three search warrants for emails and
  218. other content information associated with two email accounts used by Cohen, and one search
  219. warrant for stored content associated with an iCloud account used by Cohen. Specifically:
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  225. a.
  226. On or about July 18, 2017, the FBI sought and obtained a search warrant for
  227. (the "Cohen Gmail Account") sent or received
  228. emails in the account
  229. between January 1, 2016 and July 18, 2017 (the "First Cohen Gmail Warrant").
  230. b. On or about August 8, 2017, the FBI sought and obtained a search warrant
  231. for content stored in the iCloud account associated with Apple ID —@gmail.com (the
  232. "Cohen iCloud Accounf' and the "Cohen iCloud Warrant").
  233. the-FBI-sought-and-obtained—a-search
  234. c.
  235. warrant for emails in the Cohen Gmail Account sent or received between June 1, 2015 and
  236. November 13, 2017 (the "Second Cohen Gmail Warrant").
  237. d. On or about November 13, 2017, the FBI sought and obtained a search
  238. warrant for emails in the account (the "Cohen MDCPC Account") sent or
  239. received between the opening ofthe Cohen MDCPC Account4 and November 13, 2017 (the "First
  240. Cohen MDCPC WatTant").
  241. 8. The SCO has since referred certain aspects of its investigation into Cohen to the
  242. USAO, which is working with the FBI's New York Field Office. As part of that referral, on or
  243. about February 8, 2018, the SCO provided the USAO with all non-privileged emails and other
  244. content information obtained pursuant to the First Cohen Gmail Warrant, Second Cohen Gmail
  245. Warrant, and Cohen MDCPC Warrant. On or about March 7, 2018, the SCO provided the USAO
  246. 4 Based on my review of this warrant and the affidavit in support of it, I know that the warrant did
  247. not specify a time period, but the affidavit indicated that, pursuant to court order, the service
  248. provider had provided non-content information for the Cohen MDCPC Account that indicated that
  249. the account contained emails from the approximate period of March 2017 through the date of the
  250. warrant.
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  256. with all non-privileged content obtained pursuant to the Cohen iCloud Warrant.5 A filter team
  257. working with the SCO had previously reviewed the content produced pursuant to these warrants
  258. for privilege.
  259. On or about February 28, 2018, the USAO sought and obtained search warrants for
  260. 9.
  261. emails in the Cohen Gmail Account and the Cohen MDCPC Account, among other accounts, sent
  262. or received between November 14, 2017 and February 28, 2018 (the "Third Cohen Gmail Warrant"
  263. aridfthe- "S econd-Cöhen
  264. subject to an ongoing review for privilege by an SDNY filter team.6
  265. 10. The emails search warrants described above are referred to collectively as the
  266. "Cohen Email Warrants."
  267. 11. On or about April 7, 2018, the USAO and FBI sought and obtained a warrant for
  268. prospective and historical cellphone location information for Subject Device-I and Subject
  269. Device-2. On or about April 8, 2018, the USAO and FBI sought and obtained authority to employ
  270. an electronic technique, commonly known as a "triggerfish," to determine the location of Subject
  271. Device-I and Subject Device-2.
  272. II. Probable Cause
  273. A. Overview
  274. 12. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and FBI
  275. are investigating, among other things, schemes by Target Subject Michael Cohen (a) to defraud
  276. multiple banks from in or about 2016 up to and including the present, and (b) to make an illegal
  277. 5 The SCO had previously provided a subset of this non-privileged content on or about February
  278. 2, 2018.
  279. 6 On or about February 28, 2018 and April 7, 2018, the USAO and FBI sought and obtained Rule
  280. 41 search warrants authorizing the search of emails and content obtained pursuant to previously
  281. issued warrants for additional subject offenses.
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  287. campaign contribution in October 2016 to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. As noted,
  288. Cohen is an attomey who currently holds himself out as the personal attorney for President Donald
  289. Trump, and who previously served for over a decade as an executive in the Trump Organization,
  290. an international conglomerate with real estate and other holdings.
  291. 13. The investigation has revealed that Cohen has made affirmative misrepresentations
  292. in and omitted material information from financial statements and other disclosures that Cohen
  293. -vrovided a—transaction—intended—to—relieve—Cohen of
  294. approximately $22 million in debt he owed on taxi medallion loans from the banks. As set forth
  295. in detail below, in these financial statements, and in his oral and other written statements to these
  296. banks, Cohen appears to have (i) intentionally misrepresented his ability to pay cash by failing to
  297. disclose cash he began leceiving in 2017 from new consulting work; (ii) significantly understated
  298. his total holdings of cash and cash equivalents; (iii) failed to disclose tens of thousands of dollars
  299. he received in monthly interest income, and (iv) failed to inform the banks from which he was
  300. seeking debt relief that he had agreed to make a $3.8 million cash payment to a third party,—
  301. in connection with
  302. lcquisition ofthe taxi medallions securing Cohen's
  303. debt. By making these misrepresentations and material omissions, Cohen avoided making
  304. monthly payments on his loans, and attempted to fraudulently induce the banks to relieve him of
  305. certain repayment obligations and personal guarantees that Cohen and his wife had signed.
  306. 14. Additionally, the investigation has revealed that shortly before the 2016
  307. presidential election, Cohen made a payment of $130,000 from a limited liability corporation
  308. ("LLC") to Stephanie Clifford, an individual who is alleged to have had an extramarital affair with
  309. then-candidate Trump. This payment was made to Clifford in exchange for an agreement not to
  310. make any public disclosures about her alleged affair with Trump. As set forth below, there is
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  316. probable cause to believe that Cohen made this payment to Clifford for the purpose of influencing
  317. the presidential election, and therefore that the payment was an excessive in-kind contribution to
  318. the Trump campaign.
  319. 15. Based on my review of emails obtained from the Cohen Email Warrants,
  320. information obtained pursuant to the iCloud Warrant, and documents produced pursuant to
  321. subpoenas, as well as my review of public sources, I have learned that Cohen has used the Subject
  322. Premises to (a) receive-documents-related-to-the-transactionintended-to relieve Cohen of-his-taxi
  323. medallion debt, (b) receive documents and/or conduct meetings related to his consulting work, (c)
  324. receive documents and/or conduct meetings relating to his finances and assets, some of which, as
  325. noted above and as detailed further herein, he has concealed from the banks in connection with the
  326. refinancing of his taxi medallion debt, (d) receive and send documents relating to his payment to
  327. Clifford, and (e) house and operate electronic devices that were utilized in connection with, among
  328. other things, the taxi medallion transaction, Cohen' s consulting work, and his payment to Clifford.
  329. Specifically, as described below, Subject Premises-I likely contains evidence concerning Cohen's
  330. taxi medallion loans, his negotiations with banks, his personal finances, his consulting work, his
  331. tax returns, and his payment to Clifford, as well as electronic devices containing such evidence,
  332. all of which constitute or contain evidence of the Subject Offenses. Additionally, as described
  333. below, Subject Premises-2 likely contains evidence relating to Cohen's consulting work, his
  334. finances, and his payment to Clifford, as well as electronic devices containing such evidence.
  335. Subject Premises-3, as described below, likely contains evidence relating to Cohen's assets and
  336. finances, including assets that may not have been disclosed to banks in connection with the
  337. refinancing of Cohen's taxi medallion debt or documents relating to such assets, and documents
  338. or evidence related to Cohen's payment to Clifford. Subject Premises-4 likely contains electronic
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  344. devices, including Subject Device-I and Subject Device-2, which themselves contain evidence of
  345. the Subject Offenses, including concerning Cohen's taxi medallion loans, his negotiations with
  346. banks, his personal finances, his consulting work, his tax returns, and his payment to Clifford.
  347. Accordingly, and as set f01th in more detail below, there is probable cause to believe that the
  348. Subject Premises and Subject Devices will include evidence of the Subject Offenses.
  349. B. Probable Cause Regarding Subjects' Commission of the Subject Offenses7
  350. The Bank-Fraud-Scheme
  351. (i) Cohen's Statements to Sterling National Bank
  352. 16. As set forth in detail below, in 2014, Cohen, through LLCs controlled by him and
  353. his wife, Laura Cohen, entered into a series ofloans from Sterling National Bank ("Sterling") and
  354. the Melrose Credit Union ("Melrose"), secured by taxi medallions, for approximately $20 million.
  355. Though entered into by LLCs, the loans were also secured by personal guarantees in the names of
  356. both Cohen and his wife. Over time, as the taxi industry weakened and the medallions lost value,
  357. Cohen sought to renegotiate the terms of those loans and/or relieve himself from their obligations,
  358. including the personal guarantees. As part of that effort, Cohen made a series of representations
  359. to Sterling and Melrose about his net worth, assets, available cash and income, among other things.
  360. Specifically, based on my review of records maintained by Sterling and Melrose, and public
  361. sources concerning the taxi industry and the value of taxi medallions, as well as my participation
  362. in interviews with a Sterling executive vice-president (the "Sterling Employee-I") and two other
  363. 7 In the following recitation of probable cause, I frequently refer to phone calls or text messages
  364. involving Cohen. The text messages described herein as sent or received by Cohen were all sent
  365. or received from the telephone numbers associated with Subject Device-I or Subject Device-2.
  366. The vast majority of the phone calls described herein made or received by Cohen were made or
  367. received by the telephone numbers associated with Subject Device-I or Subject Device-2, although
  368. in cenain limited instances Cohen used a landline or other phone.
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  374. Sterling employees ("Sterling Employee-2" and "Sterling Employee-3"), I have learned, among
  375. other things, the following:
  376. a. Taxi medallions are small metal plaques affixed to taxis. Without a medallion, it
  377. is illegal to operate a taxi in cities with medallion systems, such as New York City. Cohen and his
  378. wife own multiple LLCs that collectively own 32 taxi medallions (each LLC owns two
  379. medallions).8 Cohen's purchase of these New York taxi medallions was originally financed by
  380. loans from Capital One-bank, for
  381. operator, and leased his medallions to a third party. That third party made monthly payments to
  382. Cohen, who in tum used some of those proceeds to make his monthly loan payments to Capital
  383. One.
  384. b. In early 2014, Cohen became a customer of Sterling when he sought to refinance a
  385. mortgage on a rental property that he owned. In or around April 2014, Cohen raised with Sterling
  386. the prospect ofrefinancing his taxi medallion loans, which were then at Capital One. By in or about
  387. September 2014, Cohen began negotiating a lending transaction with Sterling that would allow
  388. Cohen to pay off his loans at Capital One and borrow more money from the then-increase in value
  389. of the medallions. According to Sterling Employee-I, in 2014, prior to the recent upheaval in the
  390. taxi industry—as a result of the emergence of ride-sharing services, such as Uber—taxi medallion
  391. loans were viewed by banks and investors as safe, short term credits, as the market value of taxi
  392. medallions was consistently rising. Consequently, taxi medallion loans—like the loans held by
  393. Cohen—were frequently refinanced at increasing amounts as the value of the medallions rose.
  394. According to Sterling Employee-I, borrowers typically cashed out the increase in the loan amount
  395. 8 One of these companies, Mad Dog Cab Corp., was jointly owned by Sondra Cohen, who I
  396. believe is Cohen's mother.
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  402. and used the additional funds for other purposes. Cohen appears to have followed this approach in
  403. 2014, when he agreed to refinance his medallion loans for approximately $22 million, which—
  404. according to letters from Capital One in Sterling's files—was greater than his previous debt at
  405. Capital One Bank ($21 million, of which $14.6 million was a line ofcredit to Cohen). This allowed
  406. Cohen to cash out the proceeds from the transaction.
  407. c. Based on my review of records maintained by Sterling, I have learned that on or
  408. about December 8,-2014ßach-ofCohen's-sixteen taxi-medallion-LLCs entered intoloan agreements
  409. and promissory notes with Sterling for the principal sum of $1,375,000, with repayment due on
  410. December 8, 2016. Each loan was signed by Michael or Laura Cohen, depending on who was the
  411. sole shareholder of the LLC. The address listed for each of the LLCs was the address for Subject
  412. Premises-I. The loans were also each secured by a security agreement, dated the same day, making
  413. the medallions collateral for the notes. To give Sterling additional security, Michael and Laura
  414. Cohen signed personal guarantees and confessions of judgment, giving Sterling the right to pursue
  415. collection against the Cohens' personal assets were their corporations to default under the loan
  416. agreements. The personal guaranty agreements stated that the LLCs had offices at the address for
  417. Subject Premises-I, and contained a notice provision that stated that any notices required by the
  418. agreements should be mailed to Subject Premises-I. In total, Sterling agreed to lend approximately
  419. $22 million to the Cohens' companies.
  420. d. Pursuant to participation agreements, Sterling transferred 45 percent of Cohen's
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  422. taxi medallion debt to Melrose.
  423. 9 Melrose, which had a business principally focused on taxi medallion loans, is now in
  424. conservatorship by the National Credit Union Administration ("NCUA").
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  430. e. In evaluating Cohen's requested refinancing of the taxi medallions, Sterling (and
  431. Melrose, consistent with its participation in the deal) conducted due diligence. At Sterling's
  432. request, Cohen provided Sterling with a statement of financial condition, dated August 1, 2014
  433. (the "August 2014 Financial Statement"), which indicated that Cohen had $100,740,000 in total
  434. assets, $23,550,000 in total liabilities, and a net worth of $77,190,000.10 From my review of a
  435. Sterling credit memorandum, dated September 29, 2014, I know that Sterling viewed the
  436. transaction favorablybecause,-æecountmgfor-loampayments, cash-flowsåom the medallions-were—
  437. projected to be positive, the value of the collateral (as estimated by Sterling) exceeded $42 million,
  438. and the net worth of Cohen—who was the direct obligor under the guarantee agreements—was
  439. over $77 million. An internal Sterling credit and risk rating analysis report, dated October 20,
  440. 2014, recommended approval of the loans for substantially the same reasons.
  441. f. Based on my review of records maintained by Sterling and public sources, I have
  442. learned that over time, the collateral backing Cohen's loans (taxi medallions) lessened in value due
  443. to the rise in ride-sharing companies. Additionally, Cohen began falling behind on loan payments
  444. to Sterling and Melrose. I know from records maintained by Sterling and an interview with Sterling
  445. Employee-2 that, beginning in or around September 2015, Cohen told Sterling, in sum and
  446. substance, that the individual leasing Cohen's medallions had fallen behind in making payments to
  447. Cohen, and that as a result, the monthly cash flow from his taxi medallions had been reduced,
  448. leaving him with a shortfall of approximately $16,000 each month. For instance, I have reviewed
  449. an email from Sterling Employee-2, dated September 9, 2015, summarizing a call with Cohen—
  450. which according to the email and toll records for Cohen's cellphone occurred on September 8,
  451. 10 Cohen subsequently provided Sterling with a revised statement of financial condition, also
  452. dated August 1, 2014, which reported assets of $99,420,000, total liabilities of $23,550,000, and a
  453. net worth of $75,870,000.
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  458. 2015—during which Cohen told Sterling Employee-2, in sum and substance, about his cash flow
  459. problems and a monthly shortfall of approximately $16,000. In that same email, Sterling
  460. Employee-2 commented that despite Cohen's statements, his personal financial information
  461. "indicate[d] a strong ability to make up the difference in payments." Cohen, however, according
  462. to Sterling Employee-2, pushed the bank for a reduction in Cohen's monthly payments.
  463. g. From my review of records maintained by Sterling and my participation in an
  464. interview Cohen an&Sterling-Employee-2 spoke
  465. again on September 28, 2015, and that during the call Cohen stated, in sum and substance, that the
  466. individual to whom Cohen leases the medallions had again reduced monthly payments to Cohen. I
  467. know from my review of records maintained by Sterling that between in or about September 2015
  468. and November 2015, Sterling raised the possibility—both internally and with Cohen—of Cohen
  469. posting his real estate holdings, personal residence, or some other collateral as additional security
  470. for the banks.ll According to these records, however, Cohen resisted these requests. From my
  471. review of loan documents and records maintained by Sterling, I know that in or about November
  472. 2015, as a result of Cohen's representation that he was not earning sufficient returns on his
  473. medallions to cover monthly interest payments, Sterling and Melrose agreed to amend their loans
  474. with Cohen by, among other things, reducing the interest rate Cohen paid to Melrose and extending
  475. the loan maturity date to December 8, 2017.
  476. h. I know from interviews with Sterling Employee-I and Sterling Employee-2, as well
  477. as emails I have reviewed, that in or about October 2016, Cohen told Sterling Employee-I that
  478. Cohen had a potential buyer of his taxi medallions, named —who would agree to
  479. 11 Based on my review of propetty records, I know that on or about October 28, 2015, around
  480. the time period when Sterling raised the possibility of Cohen posting his personal residence—
  481. Subject Premises-I—as collateral, Cohen transferred Subject Premises-I into a trust.
  482. 15
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  487. assume Cohen's debt with Sterling and Melrose. Based on my review of records maintained by
  488. Sterling, as well as the interviews with Sterling Employee-I and Sterling Employee-2 referenced
  489. above, I know that by or before October 2016, Cohen had entered into negotiations to sell his sixteen
  490. corporate taxi medallion entities to
  491. for the balance of the loans, which at the time was $21 I know from my review ofrecords
  492. maintained by Sterling, and my participation in an interview with Sterling Employee-2, that as a
  493. condition Of the&ansfer-of the medallion-loans—and- beeauseSterlingAvas unfamiliar with
  494. —Sterling requested that Cohen make a substantial principal payment on the loan, of
  495. approximately one million dollars, prior to the transfer. Cohen rejected this request initially. But
  496. on or about January 31, 2017, Cohen told Sterling Employee-I, in sum and substance, that he would
  497. make a one million dollar principal reduction payment in order to move forward with the medallion
  498. transfer deal with
  499. Indeed, in an email sent by Cohen to Sterling Employee-2 on or
  500. about February 22, 2017, Cohen confirmed that he "agreed to pay down 1 million from the loan
  501. amount."
  502. i. Pursuant to the participation agreements between Sterling and Melrose, Sterling
  503. was required to secure Melrose's agreement to participate in the transfer of the taxi medallion debt
  504. from Cohen to
  505. On or about April 17, 2017, Sterling sent a memorandum to
  506. Melrose summarizing the terms of the proposed transaction, and noting the requirement that
  507. Melrose agree to the terms. On or about May 2, 2017, Sterling Employee-I told
  508. that Melrose had agreed to the deal in principle, and that Sterling would be sending the parties a
  509. term sheet shortly.
  510. j. In order for the banks to conduct diligence and evaluate the proposed transaction
  511. fully, they requested financial information from the parties. On or about June 7, 2017, Sterling
  512. 16
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  517. Employee-I emailed Cohen to request an "updated personal financial statement," completed
  518. jointly with Cohen's wife, and Cohen's most recent federal income tax return. On or about June
  519. 8, 2017, Cohen emailed Sterling Employee-I a Sterling personal financial statement form that had
  520. been filled out by hand, which referenced a statement of financial condition, dated May 1, 2017
  521. (the "May 2017 Financial Statement") that was also attached. The May 2017 Financial Statement
  522. included a cover letter from Cohen's accountant, Jeffrey Getzel, stating, in sum and substance, that
  523. the information in-the-statement-came-from Cohen-and-thatGetzel had not-confirmed-its-accuracy
  524. or completeness. The May 2017 Financial Statement stated that Cohen had total assets of
  525. $41,955,000, total liabilities of $39,130,000, and a net worth of $2,825,000. The May 2017
  526. Financial Statement indicated that Cohen's assets were comprised of $1,250,000 in cash,
  527. $26,155,000 in closely held companies (such as the taxi medallion entities and his real estate
  528. holdings), $3,200,000 in real estate investments, and his $11,000,000 personal residence.12
  529. k. Based on my review of reports of law enforcement interviews of Sterling
  530. Employee-I, I have learned that Sterling Employee-I reviewed the May 2017 Financial Statement
  531. with Cohen to, among other things, verify its accuracy, and Sterling Employee-I asked Cohen about
  532. specific line items on the financial statement, including the cash amount, value of medallions, and
  533. total liabilities. Cohen stated to Sterling Employee-I, in sum and substance, that the May 2017
  534. Financial Statement was accurate.
  535. l. On or about August 16, 2017, Sterling Employee-I emailed Cohen and
  536. attaching a non-binding term sheet memorializing the potential transaction between
  537. 12 Based on my review of Cohen' s financial statements, I know that the precipitous decline in
  538. assets from his 2014 financial statement to his 2017 financial statements can be explained
  539. primarily by reported depreciation in the value of Cohen's real estate assets and medallion
  540. investments.
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  545. Sterling, Melrose, Cohen, and
  546. The term sheet included a cover letter addressed
  547. to Cohen at Subject Premises-I. The parties negotiated the provisions of the term sheet and, on or
  548. about September 5, 2017, Sterling Employee-I sent
  549. executed term sheet. According to the term sheet,
  550. from Sterling and Melrose, to be secured by the medallions that
  551. Cohen.
  552. md Cohen a copy of the
  553. would b01Tow $20,000,000
  554. vas to acquire from
  555. m. ASVärtOftheägreement,-accordingtothe term sheets 16265;91-3 in principal (which
  556. is what would remain after the $20,000,000 payment on the outstanding loan balance) would be
  557. repaid by Cohen and the two banks, with Cohen paying fifty percent and the banks dividing the
  558. remaining half of the balance. Based on my review of an internal Sterling credit memorandum,
  559. dated October 4, 2017, the parties reached a preliminary agreement that Cohen would pay $632,956
  560. of the remaining $1,265,912 principal loan balance, and Sterling and Melrose would absorb
  561. $357,167 and $275,789, respectively, in the form ofcharge-offs. According to Sterling Employee-
  562. 1, Sterling was willing to divide the repayment of the outstanding principal balance—despite its
  563. prior insistence that Cohen make a principal pay-down of at least one million dollars—because
  564. Cohen represented on a telephone call with Sterling Employee-I , in sum and substance, that he had
  565. insufficient liquidity to pay the full outstanding principal balance. As part ofthe agreement, Sterling
  566. and Melrose also agreed to relieve Cohen and his wife of the personal guarantees that they made
  567. on behalf of the LLCs. Thus, after completing the
  568. transaction, Cohen would no longer
  569. have had any outstanding obligations to Sterling or Melrose.
  570. n. Based on my review of emails sent by Sterling employees, I have learned that
  571. because the transaction between the patties was subject to full credit underwriting by Sterling and
  572. Melrose (as well as Melrose's regulators at NCUA), in August and September 2017, Sterling
  573. 18
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  578. required and requested additional financial statements and tax returns for Cohen and
  579. for its credit underwriting process. In response to Sterling's requests, on or about September 25,
  580. 2017, Cohen emailed Sterling Employee-2 a copy of his 2016 tax return. The tax ret-um listed
  581. Cohen's mailing address as Subject Premises-I. Additionally, on or about October 5, 2017, Cohen
  582. re-sent Sterling Employee-2 a copy of his May 2017 Financial Statement. A day later, on October
  583. 6, 2017, Cohen emailed Sterling Employee-2 a statement of financial condition, dated September
  584. "September2017-Financial -Statement").
  585. o. Like the May 2017 Financial Statement, the September 2017 Financial Statement
  586. included a cover letter from Jeffrey Getzel, Cohen's accountant, stating, in sum and substance, that
  587. the information in the statement came from Cohen, and that Getzel had not confirmed its accuracy
  588. or completeness. The September 2017 Financial Statement stated that Cohen had total assets of
  589. $33,430,000, total liabilities of $45,630,000, and a negative net worth of $12,200,000.13 Notably,
  590. unlike Cohen's May 2017 Financial Statement, the September 2017 Financial Statement
  591. represented to Sterling that Cohen had a negative net worth. The September 2017 Financial
  592. Statement indicated that Cohen's assets were comprised of $1,250,000 in cash, $17,630,000 in
  593. closely held companies (including the taxi medallion entities and his real estate holdings), 14
  594. $3,200,000 in real estate investments, and his $11,000,000 personal residence (which, for the first
  595. 13 Based on my review of Cohen's financial statements, I know that this further decline in
  596. assets can be explained primarily by reported depreciation in the value of Cohen's real estate assets
  597. and medallion investments.
  598. 14 Notably, the September 2017 Financial Statement valued each of Cohen's thirty-two New
  599. York taxi medallions at approximately $180,187.50, which was considerably less than the
  600. "—term sheet.
  601. $650,000 valuation ascribed to each medallion in the Cohen-
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  607. time, he indicated was held by a trust).15 The September 2017 Financial Statement included assets
  608. and liabilities not held in Cohen's name, such as various entities associated with his taxi medallions
  609. and some of his real estate investment entities.
  610. p. From my participation in an interview with Sterling Employee-2, and my review of
  611. records maintained by Sterling, I have also learned that around the time Cohen provided Sterling
  612. with these financial statements—i.e., in or around September 2017—Cohen stopped paying
  613. on his taxi-medallionAoans
  614. 2, Cohen informed Sterling, in sum and substance, that he had insufficient åmds to pay the monthly
  615. principal and interest payments on his medallion loans. By in or about December 2017, Sterling
  616. and Melrose had not been paid approximately $276,937.92 in monthly principal and interest
  617. payments on the medallion loans. Based on Cohen's financial condition as conveyed in the
  618. September 2017 Financial Statement, and his delinquency in making payments to Sterling, among
  619. other things, the bank's credit underwriting committee determined (and memorialized in a
  620. December 2017 memorandum) that the Cohen-'
  621. transaction was favorable for the bank
  622. — that is, that
  623. would be a better borrower than Cohen.
  624. q. On or about December 26, 2017, Sterling sent Cohen a demand letter requesting
  625. the immediate receipt of past-due loan payments. The demand letter was addressed to Cohen at
  626. Subject Premises-I. On December 29, 2017, Sterling sent Cohen a letter stating that he was in
  627. default under the loans between Sterling and Cohen's medallion corporations. The notice of
  628. default was addressed to Cohen at Subject Premises-I. Cohen did not make an immediate payment
  629. on the loans, but instead sent an e-mail to Sterling Employee-I on or about January 24, 2018,
  630. 15 Based on my review of property records maintained by the City of New York, and my
  631. participation in an interview with Getzel, I know that in 2015, Cohen transferred his residence to
  632. a trust. 1--1e did not disclose that transaction to Getzel or Sterling until in or about September 2017.
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  638. stating that during the closing of the Cohen•
  639. transaction, Cohen would "bring all
  640. payments up to date as well as deposit the payoff differential." Cohen also requested by email on
  641. January 24, 2018, that at the closing of the Cohen-'
  642. transaction, Sterling provide a letter
  643. stating that all of Cohen's debts have been satisfied and that Cohen's personal guarantees of the
  644. medallion loans had been terminated.
  645. r. The Cohen-
  646. transaction, however, did not close. On or about January
  647. attorney-emailed attorneys-for-Sterling and-stated-thatéfat this-time——-
  648. there is no deal with Michael Cohen. Some of the numbers have changed and we are not prepared
  649. to go forward."
  650. s. Based on my participation in the interview with Sterling Employee-2 and my
  651. review of records maintained by Sterling, I know that after the Cohen-
  652. deal fell apan,
  653. Sterling assigned Cohen's loans to Sterling Employee-3, who specializes in collecting on
  654. defaulting loans. From my participation in an interview with Sterling Employee-3, my review of
  655. telephone call notes taken by Sterling Employee-3, and my review of telephone records, I know
  656. that Sterling Employee-3 spoke several times to Cohen on or about January 30, 2018 about paying
  657. down and/or restructuring Cohen's outstanding taxi medallion loans. On the calls, which in total
  658. lasted more than an hour, Cohen stated in sum and substance that he did not have more than
  659. $1,250,000 to pay toward the medallion loans. On the call, in the course of reviewing the failed
  660. Cohen-
  661. Cohen and
  662. transaction, Sterling Employee-3 questioned Cohen about the price
  663. vas to have paid for each medallion, and whether there was a side agreement between
  664. Cohen denied that there was any side agreement with
  665. t. On or about January 31, 2018, Cohen emailed Sterling Employee-3 and proposed
  666. paying $500,000 to bring the loans current and $750,000 to bring the principal balance to
  667. 21
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  672. $20,500,000. Cohen also suggested revised monthly interest payment amounts. The signature
  673. block on the email indicated that Cohen's address was the address for Subject Premises-2. On or
  674. about January 31, 2018, Sterling Employee-3 responded to Cohen and stated, in sum and
  675. substance, that Cohen would need to pay the entirety of the overdue payments and pay down the
  676. principal balance of the loan to $20,000,000 (in total, a payment of approximately $1,750,000),
  677. and would need to make larger monthly interest payments.
  678. u. On or about Cohen-emailedSterling-Emp10yee-3 and-proposed
  679. "[playment of $1.250m which ALL can be used to pay down principal, if [Sterling] will waive
  680. past due amounts," but stated "I do NOT have more than the $1.250m." (Emphasis in original.)
  681. Cohen also stated, in sum and substance, that he had insufficient financial resources to post
  682. additional collateral or pre-fund monthly payments. The signature block on the email indicated
  683. that Cohen's address was the address for Subject Premises-2. Based on my participation in an
  684. interview with Sterling Employee-3, I have learned that since January 30, 2018, Sterling has
  685. continued to renegotiate the medallion loans with Cohen based on Cohen's representations about
  686. his current financial position. In particular, according to Sterling Employee-3, Cohen and Sterling
  687. have an agreement in principal to restructure Cohen's loans based in part of Cohen's agreement to
  688. make a principal payment of approximately $750,000, to make a payment of $500,000 to become
  689. current on interest payments, and to post $192,000 in cash collateral for his iiiture monthly
  690. payments on the loan. Cohen also agreed to pledge an interest he had in a property. Sterling
  691. Employee-3 has stated that had Cohen indicated he had more than $1,250,000 available to him,
  692. Sterling would have, among other things, negotiated for a larger reduction to the principal amount
  693. of the loan.
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  699. (ii) Cohen Made Material Misrepresentations About His Finances to Banks
  700. Cohen Concealed from Sterling and Melrose Cash Derived from Consulting Work
  701. 17. As set forth in detail below, despite multiple written and oral representations by
  702. Cohen to Sterling (and, by extension, Melrose16) that he had insufflcient funds to pay down the
  703. principal balance of the medallion loans, make monthly interest payments, or pay past-due
  704. amounts, it appears that between 2016 and the present, Cohen opened and maintained bank
  705. accounts -avFirst-Republic-Bank -of-dollars in
  706. consulting payments in these accounts, which he did not disclose to Sterling. Cohen set up these
  707. accounts and received these funds during the very period in which he made disclosures to Sterling
  708. about his personal finances (including his assets and liabilities) and his ability to make payments
  709. on the medallion loans. In these disclosures to Sterling—and despite being asked about these bank
  710. accounts by his accountant—Cohen misled the bank by claiming he had insufficient liquidity to
  711. satisfy his obligations or meet the bank's demands, while withholding information about these
  712. ongoing revenue streams and liquid financial assets at First Republic.
  713. Specifically, based on my review of documents and bank records produced
  714. 18.
  715. pursuant to a subpoena by First Republic, and my participation in and review of repoffs of
  716. interviews with a First Republic sales manager ("First Republic Employee-I ") and a First Republic
  717. senior managing director ("First Republic Employee-2"), I have learned, among other things, the
  718. following:
  719. 16 Based on my review of a report of an interview conducted with an employee of Melrose, I
  720. have learned that, pursuant to the participation agreement between Sterling and Melrose, Cohen' s
  721. financial statements and other records in Sterling's possession were forwarded to Melrose so that
  722. Melrose could make a determination as to whether to approve of the Cohen-•—
  723. transaction. Based on my review of reports of interviews with Melrose employees, 1 also know
  724. ransaction.
  725. that Cohen called employees at Melrose regarding the Cohen-
  726. 23
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  731. a. Cohen and his wife have been customers of First Republic since approximately
  732. June 2011. Cohen controls several checking and loan accounts at First Republic, some in his own
  733. name and others in the names of corporate entities. According to First Republic's know-your-
  734. customer records on Cohen, 17 his primary physical address is the address for Subject Premises-I.
  735. b. On or about October 26, 2016, in Manhattan, New York, Cohen opened a new
  736. checking account at First Republic in the name of Essential Consultants LLC (the "Essential
  737. Coiisülfants was the only-authorized-signatoryomthe account—According-to
  738. account opening documents, the primary address for Essential Consultants LLC was the address
  739. for Subject Premises-I. When Cohen opened the Essential Consultants Account, First Republic
  740. Employee-I conducted an in-person interview of Cohen. In response to a series of know-your-
  741. customer questions about the purpose of the account—the answers to which First Republic
  742. Employee-I entered into a form18 Cohen stated, in sum and substance, that he was opening
  743. Essential Consultants as a real estate consulting company to collect fees for investment consulting
  744. work, and all of his consulting clients would be domestic individuals based in the United States.
  745. Cohen also stated, in sum and substance, that his purpose in setting up the account was to keep the
  746. revenue from his consulting business—which he said was not his main source ofincome—separate
  747. from his personal finances. As set forth below, there is probable cause to believe that Cohen's
  748. statements about the intended purpose of the account and source of fillids for the account were
  749. false. Specifically, as described below, the account was not intended to receive—and does not
  750. 17 Certain financial institutions are required to conduct such procedures pursuant to the Bank
  751. Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations. See 31 U.S.C. 5318; 31 C.F.R. 1020.220.
  752. 18 First Republic Employee-I first filled out the form on the day he interviewed Cohen, October
  753. 26, 2016. On or about December 19, 2016, at the request of bank compliance personnel, First
  754. Republic Employee-I updated the form to add more detail about Cohen's statements.
  755. 24
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  760. appear to have received—money in connection with real estate consulting work; in addition, the
  761. account has received substantial payments from foreign sources.
  762. c. I know from my review of First Republic bank records that were scheduled by an
  763. FBI forensic accountant that after Cohen opened the Essential Consultants Account, Cohen
  764. received payments into that account from foreign businesses and entities that do not reflect the
  765. stated client profile for the residential and commercial real-estate consulting services. Specifically,
  766. fröm-my-reNiew-of
  767. following:
  768. i. Beginning on or about January 31, 2017, Cohen began receiving monthly
  769. payments of $83,333 into the Essential Consultants Account from an entity called Columbus Nova
  770. LLC. According to public sources, Columbus Nova is an investment management firm controlled
  771. by Renova Group, an industrial holding company based in Zurich, Switzerland that is controlled
  772. by Russian national Viktor Vekselberg. From January 2017 to August 2017, the Essential
  773. Consultants Account received seven payments totaling $583,332.98 from Columbus Nova LLC.
  774. ii. Beginning on or about April 5, 2017, the Essential Consultants Account
  775. began receiving payments from Novartis Investments, SARL, which I believe to be the in-house
  776. financial subsidiary ofthe Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis International AG ("Novartis").
  777. Between April 2017 and February 2018, the Essential Consultants Account received eleven wire
  778. payments from a Swiss bank account held in the name of Novartis, each in the amount of $99,980,
  779. for a total of
  780. iii. Beginning in or about April 2017, the Essential Consultants Account started
  781. receiving wire payments from a bank account associated with the telecommunications company
  782. AT&T Inc. ("AT&T"). Specifically, on or about April 14, 2017, AT&T sent $100,000 to the
  783. 25
  784. 2017.08.02
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  788. Essential Consultants Account and, from in or about June 2017 to in or about January 2018, the
  789. Essential Consultants Account received ten $50,000 payments from AT&T. In total, AT&T sent
  790. $600,000 to the Essential Consultants Account.
  791. iv. On or about May 10, 2017, June 9, 2017, July 10, 2017, and November 27,
  792. 2017, the Essential Consultants Account received four deposits in the amount $150,000 (totaling
  793. $600,000) from a bank account in South Korea. The account holder from which the money was
  794. Sent iSXOiéiAerospace company that
  795. produces and sells fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter aircraft, and satellites to the United States
  796. Department of Defense, among other customers.
  797. v. On or about May 22, 2017, the Essential Consultants Account received a
  798. $150,000 deposit from an account at Kazkommertsbank, a Kazakhstani bank. The listed account
  799. holder at Kazkommertsbank was a second Kazakhstani bank named BTA Bank, AO. A message
  800. accompanying the wire payment indicated that the payment was a "monthly consulting fee as per
  801. Inv BTA-IOI DD May 10, 2017 consulting agreement W/N DD 08 05 2017 CNTR W/NDD
  802. 08/05/2017."
  803. vi. In total, from on or about January 31, 2017 toon or about February 1, 2018,
  804. the Essential Consultants Account received approximately $3,033,112.98 in transfers and checks
  805. from the aforementioned entities. As of on or about January 10, 2018, the balance in the Essential
  806. Consultants Account was $1,369,474.23. Cohen's withdrawals from the Essential Consultants
  807. account reveal that it was used for largely personal purposes, including to pay, among other things,
  808. American Express bills and fees from "the Core Club," a private social club in New York.
  809. d. On or about April 4, 2017, Cohen opened another new checking account at First
  810. Republic, this one in the name ofMichael D. Cohen & Associates, P.C. (the ' 'MDC&A Account").
  811. 26
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  816. Cohen was the only authorized signatory on the account. According to account opening
  817. documents, the primary' address for IVIDC&A Account was the address for Subject Premises-I.
  818. Among other things, the MDC&A Account received ten wire transfers and one check from an
  819. account in the name of Squire Patton Boggs, a law firm. As noted above, Subject Premises-2 is
  820. located inside the New York office of Squire Patton Boggs. In total, from on or about April 5,
  821. 2017, to on or about January 2, 2018, the MDC&A Account received $426,097.70 in deposits, and
  822. tfre balance below„Cohen—
  823. never disclosed any of the balance in the Essential Consultants or MDC&A accounts to Sterling
  824. during the negotiations with respect to the
  825. transaction or the subsequent loan
  826. refinancing negotiations, including in his May 2017 Financial Statement and September 2017
  827. Financial Statement.
  828. 19. Based on my review of emails that were seized pursuant to the Cohen Email
  829. Warrants, and my review of repotts of interviews with employees of AT&T and Novartis, it
  830. appears that the aforementioned payments to the Essential Consultants Account and MDC&A
  831. Account were for political consulting work, including consulting for international clients on issues
  832. pending before the Trump administration. Specifically, from my review ofemails from the Cohen
  833. Gmail Account, the Cohen MDCPC Account, and public sources, I have learned the following:
  834. a. On or about April 28, 2017, Cohen sent an email to an individual whom I believe
  835. is affiliated with KAT. In the email, Cohen attached a "Consulting Agreement" between KAI and
  836. Essential Consultants dated as of about May 1, 2017. The agreement indicates that Essential
  837. Consultants had the address of Subject Premises-2. The document indicates that Essential
  838. Consultants would render "consulting and advisory services, as requested" by KAI, and that KAI
  839. would pay Essential Consultants "a consulting fee of One Million Two Hundred Thousand
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  845. ($1,200,000.00) US Dollars," disbursed through eight $150,000 installments between May 2017
  846. and December 2017. I have also reviewed invoices in amounts of $150,000 that Cohen emailed
  847. to an individual whom I believe is affiliated with KAI. At the top of the invoices the address listed
  848. for Essential Consultants is the address for Subject Premises-2.
  849. b. On or about May 8, 2017, Cohen sent an email to an individual whom I believe is
  850. affiliated with BTA Bank. The signature block on Cohen's email listed "Essential Consultants
  851. LLC" and "MiChaeVD. address for-Subject-Premises-
  852. 2. In the email, Cohen attached a document purporting to be a "Consulting Agreement" between
  853. BTA Bank and Essential Consultants dated as ofabout May 8, 2017. The agreement indicates that
  854. Essential Consultants had the address of Subject Premises-2. The document indicates that
  855. Essential Consultants would render "consulting and advisory services" to BTA Bank, and that
  856. BTA Bank would pay Essential Consultants "a consulting fee of One Million Eight Hundred
  857. Thousand ($1,800,000.00) US Dollars," disbursed through monthly payments of $150,000. On or
  858. about May 10, 2017, Cohen sent an email to an employee ofBTA Bank, and attached to the email
  859. an invoice to BTA Bank in the name of Essential Consultants, with the address of Subject Premises-
  860. 2. The invoice contemplated a $150,000 payment to Essential Consultants for a "monthly
  861. consulting fee."
  862. c. On or about January 23, 2017, Cohen appears to have entered into a consulting
  863. agreement with AT&T, which contemplates that Essential Consultants "shall render consulting and
  864. advisory services to [AT&T]" and that AT&T would "advise [Essential Consultants] ofthose issues
  865. and matters with respect to which AT&T Services desires [Essential Consultants]'s assistance and
  866. advice." The agreement indicates that Essential Consultants had the address of Subject Premises-
  867. I. The contract calls for AT&T "to pay the Consultant for his services ... a consulting fee of Fifty
  868. 28
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  873. Thousand ($50,000) Dollars ... per month." Based on my review of reports of interviews with
  874. AT&T employees, I have learned that AT&T retained Cohen to consult on political issues,
  875. including net neutrality, the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, and tax reform.
  876. d. On or about March 1, 2017, Cohen appears to have entered into a contract between
  877. Novartis and Essential Consultants, which provides that Essential Consultants will firovide
  878. consulting and advisory services to Novartis on matters that relate to the repeal and replacement of
  879. the [Essentia
  880. Consultants] and Novartis." The contract provides for a "consulting fee of One Million Two
  881. Hundred Thousand ($1,200,000) Ijs dollars," to be paid to Essential Consultants in equal monthly
  882. installments over the course ofa year. Based on my review of reports of interviews with Novartis
  883. employees, I have learned that Novartis retained Cohen to provide political consulting services and
  884. to gain access to relevant policymakers in the Trump Administration.
  885. e. In or about February 2017, Cohen began negotiating the terms of a "strategic
  886. alliance" with Squire Patton Boggs. On or about March 4, 2017, Squire Patton Boggs emailed
  887. Cohen a "strategic alliance agreement." Under the terms of the agreement, Cohen agreed to
  888. generate business for the law firm, and Squire Patton Boggs agreed to pay to Cohen "an annual
  889. strategic alliance fee of $500,000, payable in twelve (12) equal monthly installments." Squire
  890. Patton Boggs also agreed to provide Cohen with "dedicated and segregated office space in [Squire
  891. Patton Boggs's] New York and Washington D.C. offices, which office space shall be physically
  892. separate from [Squire Patton Boggs's] offices and have locked doors and its own locked file
  893. cabinets." On or about April 3, 2017, Squire Patton Boggs announced on its website that is had
  894. formed a "strategic alliance" with Michael D. Cohen & Associates and would "jointly represent
  895. clients."
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  901. 20. Despite the significant amount of money that Cohen received into the Essential
  902. Consultants Account and the MDC&A Account, and the cash balance in both accounts, Cohen did
  903. not disclose that information to Sterling or Melrose. Specifically, based on my review ofdocuments
  904. provided by Getzel (as noted above, Cohen's accountant at the time), my participation in an
  905. interview with Getzel, and my review of notes and
  906. have learned the following:
  907. 1
  908. -I
  909. meeting, Cohen told Getzel, in sum and substance, that he had set up a law practice called Michael
  910. D. Cohen & Associates P.C., and a consulting company called Essential Consultants LLC. Cohen
  911. told Getzel, in sum and substance, that he expected to earn $75,000 per month in connection with
  912. his law practice, and that he expected gross revenues for the consulting business to be between five
  913. and six million dollars annually.
  914. b. In or about October 2017, if not earlier, Getzel was preparing a personal financial
  915. statement for Cohen. On or about October 6, 2017, Getzel sent an email to Cohen in which Getzel
  916. wrote that "[a]ttached is a draft of the new PFS as of September 30, 2017" and attached a draft of
  917. the September 2017 Financial Statement. The draft statement reflected that as of September 30,
  918. 2017, Cohen had only $1,250,000 in cash, total assets of apptoximately $33,430,000 (comprised of
  919. taxi medallion interests, real estate interests, and his personal residence and propeny), and liabilities
  920. ofapproximately $45,630,000, leaving him purportedly over $12 million in debt. In the same email,
  921. Getzel questioned Cohen, in sum and substance, about the fact that the financial statement did not
  922. list any value associated with either the Essential Consultants Account or the MDC&A Account:
  923. "[w]e did not add any value for you[r] two operating entities — Michael D. Cohen & Associates
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  929. POC [sic] and Essential Consultants LLC. Please advise whether or not these should be disclosed
  930. and what value."
  931. c. On or about October 6, 2017, Cohen called Getzel by telephone—which is reflected
  932. on toll records for Cohen's cellphone—and told Getzel, in sum and substance, not to include
  933. Essential Consultants or MDC&A in the September 2017 Financial Statement because they had no
  934. value. On or about October 6, 2017, following the call with Getzel, Cohen, using the Cohen
  935. email Witfrthe-answer "[l]ooks good to me&Cohennever-directed
  936. Getzel to make any changes to his cash position as listed in the September 2017 Financial
  937. Statement. In a letter dated October 6, 2017, addressed to Getzel, Cohen stated, "I have reviewed
  938. the attached statement of financial condition and find it to be correct and consistent with the
  939. representations that I made to your finn. The attached is an accurate reflection of my assets,
  940. liabilities and net worth (deficit) as of September 30, 2017." Attached to that letter was the
  941. September 2017 Financial Statement, which, as noted above, was then transmitted to Sterling in
  942. connection with the proposed taxi medallion transaction between Sterling, Cohen, and
  943. 21. Based on my review of a report of an interview with Sterling Employee-I, I have
  944. leamed that Cohen did not disclose his income stream from Essential Consultants to Sterling
  945. Employee-I or, to his knowledge, anyone else at Sterling. According to Sterling Employee-I,
  946. knowledge of such an income stream would have affected Sterling's demands during the
  947. negotiations, particularly with respect to the amount of a principal paydown of Cohen's debt.
  948. Cohen Understated His Available Cash
  949. 22. In addition to withholding the existence of his Essential Consultants income from
  950. Sterling and Melrose, it appears that Cohen also substantially understated his available cash and
  951. cash equivalents in his financial disclosures. Specifically, I know from my review ofthe September
  952. 31
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  957. 2017 Financial Statement that Cohen provided to Sterling that Cohen represented that he had
  958. $1,250,000 in cash as of September 30, 2017. I also know that on or about January 30, 2018, in a
  959. telephone call with Sterling Employee-3, and on February 1, 2018, in an email to Sterling
  960. Employee-3, Cohen represented that he did not have more than $1,250,000 in cash. But, from my
  961. review of a summary ofbank records that were scheduled by forensic accountants, I have learned
  962. that Cohen had approximately $5,000,000 in cash and cash equivalents as of September 30, 2017.
  963. had-approximately-S6,000,000-in-cash-and- cash
  964. equivalents. Specifically, from my review ofthe account schedule and bankrecords, I have learned
  965. the following:
  966. a. Cohen has three checking and/or savings accounts at Capital One Bank, one of
  967. which is in his wife's name. As of September 30, 2017, Cohen had $1,105,680.35 in his savings
  968. account, and $1,262,982.29 in total in the three accounts at Capital One Bank. As of February 1,
  969. 2018, Cohen had a total of $1,3 89,245.78 in these accounts.
  970. b. Cohen has three accounts at Morgan Stanley in his name. As of September 30,
  971. 2017, the combined total in cash and cash equivalents in those three accounts was $1,270,600.41.
  972. As of February 1, 2018, Cohen had $1,284.996.13 in these accounts.
  973. c. As of September 30, 2017, Cohen had $260,689.18 in an accountatSignatureBank.
  974. As of February 1, 2018, Cohen had $261,517.55 in this account.
  975. d. In addition to the Essential Consultants Account and MDC&A Account at First
  976. Republic, Cohen also had twojoint checking accounts with Laura Cohen at First Republic. In total,
  977. as of September 30, 2017, Cohen had at least $1,876,209.27 in total in his four accounts at First
  978. Republic. As of February 1, 2018, Cohen had $3,332,992.95 in these accounts.
  979. 32
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  984. e. Cohen has an account at Bethpage Credit Union with $25,931.39 in it as of
  985. September 3(), 2017.
  986. f. As of September 30, 2017, Cohen had $17,542.54 in accounts at Sterling.
  987. g. Cohen has two accounts at TD Bank—one in his name and one held jointly with his
  988. wife. Cohen also has a safety deposit box at TD Bank—Subject Premises-3. The safety deposit
  989. box was opened on December 13, 2017 in the names of Michael and Laura Cohen.
  990. of had in his accounts
  991. at Capital One Bank, City National Bank, Signature Bank, Sterling Bank, Bethpage Credit Union,
  992. First Republic, and Morgan Stanley. As of February 1, 2018, Cohen had $6,268,732.59 in his
  993. accounts at Capital One Bank, City National Bank, Signature Bank, First Republic, and Morgan
  994. Stanley. 19
  995. 23. Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it appears that Cohen's written and oral
  996. representations to Sterling and Melrose that he did not have more than $1 were false, and
  997. that Cohen withheld information regarding approximately $5 million in funds from Sterling and
  998. Melrose in order to secure favorable terms in his renegotiation of his medallion loan. Based on
  999. my participation in an interview with Sterling Employee-2, and my review ofreports of interviews
  1000. with Sterling Employee-I and two Melrose employees, it is my understanding that that Sterling
  1001. and Melrose would view Cohen's understating of his assets as material to its decision whether to
  1002. renegotiate Cohen's medallion loans and on what terms, or to its decision whether approve of the
  1003. transfer of those loans to
  1004. 19 Based on my review of the account schedules described above, I know that, as of the date of this
  1005. affidavit, the account balances for TD Bank have not yet been included in the schedule for either
  1006. date and the account balances for Sterling National Bank and Bethpage Credit Union have not yet
  1007. been included in the schedule for February 1, 2018. Thus, to the extent that these accounts have
  1008. positive balances, Cohen's total balances in fact were even higher on these dates.
  1009. 33
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  1014. Cohen Has Unreported Interest Income
  1015. It appears that Cohen also hid from Sterling interest income that he was receiving in
  1016. connection with a six million dollar loan he made to another individual. Specifically, I know from
  1017. my review of the May 2017 Financial Statement and September 2017 Financial Statement that
  1018. Cohen provided to Sterling that Cohen did not disclose that he had made a note receivable in the
  1019. amount of approximately $6 million, or that he was earning approximately $60,000 per month in
  1020. *merest-income-in-connection-with that
  1021. that were reviewed by another law enforcement agent, my review of propelly records and
  1022. documents obtained pursuant to the Cohen Email Warrants, and my participation in an interview
  1023. with Getzel, I have learned the following:
  1024. a. Based on my review of property records, I have learned that on or about March 12,
  1025. upproximately
  1026. 2012, Cohen agreed to lend
  1027. $2,000,000.20 It appears that the promissory note was unsecured by any real property. On or about
  1028. amended the promissory note, and restructured the loan to
  1029. April 28, 2014, Cohen and
  1030. increase the principal amount to approximately $5,000,000. Under the terms of the amended
  1031. promissory note, the loan was secured by— artmentin Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. On
  1032. stated the promissory note to increase the principal
  1033. or about April 8, 2015, Cohen and
  1034. amount to $6,000,000.21
  1035. b. Based on my review ofa copy of the restated note, which was obtained pursuant to
  1036. the Cohen Email Warrants, I have learned that under the terms of the amended and restated
  1037. 20 | learned from Getzel that
  1038. 21 The note states that the loan is to wife,
  1039. lerein.
  1040. jointly and severally. For ease of reference, I refer simply to "
  1041. 34
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  1046. promissory note, Cohen's loan to —s an interest-only loan, and that the principal balance
  1047. of the loan bears interest at an annual rate of 12.25 percent. I also know that the amended and
  1048. restated promissory note includes a schedule of payments that require
  1049. to pay Cohen
  1050. approximately $61,250 permonth beginning in April 2015 and ending in April 2019. The note also
  1051. —epay the principal balance of on April 28, 2019.
  1052. requires thal
  1053. c. Based on my review of bank records, I have learned that, consistent with the terms
  1054. of—the--amended—and—restated—promissory -notew-
  1055. approximately $61,250 since April 2015. Specifically, based on my review of records maintained
  1056. by Capital One Bank, I have learned that from April 2015 to October 2015, Cohen received checks
  1057. totaling $61,250 per month, which he
  1058. from an entity called
  1059. deposited into his personal bank account at Capital One Bank.22 It appears from my review ofbank
  1060. the owner of
  1061. records and public sources that
  1062. From my review ofrecords maintained by Capital One Bank, I have also leamed that since October
  1063. 2015, Cohen has received checks from an entity called
  1064. totaling
  1065. $61,250 per month, which he deposited into his personal bank account at Capital One Bank. It
  1066. appears from my review of bank records and public sources that
  1067. s also the owner of
  1068. it appears that Cohen receives approximately $735,000 per year
  1069. in interest payments from
  1070. d. Based on my review of Cohen's May 2017 and September 2017 Financial
  1071. Statements, my review of his 2015 and 2016 tax returns obtained via subpoena and from the Cohen
  1072. Email Warrants, and my participation in an interview with Getzel, I have learned that Cohen did
  1073. 22 In April 2015, Cohen received a pro-rated payment. For all months thereafter, the total payment
  1074. equaled $61,250, but —)ften made the payment in multiple checks.
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  1080. not disclose this interest income he was receiving from
  1081. to Sterling or Melrose, or list it
  1082. on his tax returns. I have also learned that while this interest income is taxable, Cohen did not tell
  1083. Getzel—his accountant—about the income, and Getzel only learned about the income because he
  1084. —taxes in 2017.23
  1085. began doing
  1086. 25. Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it appears that Cohen's representations to
  1087. Sterling and Melrose that he did not have more than $1,250,000 were false, and that Cohen
  1088. in-Ordevto
  1089. withheld information re from
  1090. secure favorable terms in his renegotiation of his medallion loan.
  1091. Cohen Had a Side Agreement With
  1092. 26. As set forth in detail below, during the course of Cohen's negotiations to sell his
  1093. interest in taxi medallions and the associated debt to
  1094. Cohen not only
  1095. misrepresented his financial position to Sterling, but also failed to disclose a side agreement he
  1096. = greed to pay an above-market price
  1097. it aPpears that
  1098. had negotiated with
  1099. for Cohen's taxi cab medallions, and in exchange, Cohen agreed to pay =
  1100. tpproximately
  1101. $3.8 million in cash. Specifically, from my review ofdocuments produced pursuant to a subpoena
  1102. by Sterling, and my participation in interviews with Sterling Employee-I, Sterling Employee-2,
  1103. and Sterling Employee-3, I have learned, among other things, the following:
  1104. a. On or about September 5, 2017, an executed term sheet was circulated by Sterling
  1105. Employee-I to Cohen and
  1106. The term sheet listed Cohen's address as the address for
  1107. borrow
  1108. Subject Premises-I. According to the tenn sheet,
  1109. from Sterling and Melrose, to be secured by the medallions that
  1110. was to acquire from
  1111. 23 Accordingly, this interest income—which should have been reported as such on Cohen's tax
  1112. returns—is included hetein in calculations of Cohen' s true cash position.
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  1118. Cohen. At a price of $20 million for thirty-two taxi medallions, the proposed transaction valued
  1119. each medallion as worth $625,000. The term sheet also contemplated a $1,265,913 pay-down of
  1120. the principal balance of the loan. The term sheet made no mention ofa $3.8 million payment from
  1121. Cohen to or any other form of payment or financial transaction between the panies.
  1122. b. Additionally, an internal Sterling credit memorandum, dated October 4, 2017,
  1123. describing the terms ofthe Cohen-
  1124. transaction and the new loan to —did
  1125. not mention any paymentS from Cohen-to—including-aa$3.8-million payment.= The
  1126. memorandum also noted that the "loan amount of $20MM indicates a $625M purchase price per
  1127. medallion" but "it is recognized that this is not in line with current market values." Indeed,
  1128. according to an internal Sterling memorandum dated February 5, 2018, in the month of January
  1129. 2018, taxi medallions sold for amounts ranging from $120,000 to $372,000. According to Sterling
  1130. Employee-I and Sterling Employee-2, they were never told that
  1131. lgreed to a purchase
  1132. price of $625,()0() in exchange for a lump sum payment from Cohen, or that Cohen would make
  1133. any payment to
  1134. c. On or about January 30, 2018, Sterling Employee-3 asked Cohen whether Cohen
  1135. had a side agreement with
  1136. a sum of money for entering into the
  1137. medallion transaction. Sterling Employee-3 asked Cohen about such an arrangement because,
  1138. according to Sterling Employee-3, the price that
  1139. was paying for each medallion
  1140. appeared to be well above the market price. Cohen stated, in sum and substance, that he had no
  1141. side agreement—and never had a side agreement—with
  1142. 27. While Cohen and
  1143. did not disclose any payment from Cohen to
  1144. in communications with Sterling, it appears that such a payment was contemplated.
  1145. Indeed, based on my review of records maintained by Getzel, and my participation in an interview
  1146. 37
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  1151. with Getzel, I have learned the following, in substance and in part, regarding the proposed side
  1152. payment from Cohen to—
  1153. a. On or about September 19, 2017, Getzel prepared a memorandum for Cohen
  1154. entitled, "Sale of NYC Medallion Entities and Debt Assumption" (the "Getzel Memorandum").
  1155. The Getzel Memorandum summarized the proposed transaction between Cohen and
  1156. in part, as follows: "Michael and Laura Cohen will transfer ownership of their 13 NYC medallion
  1157. entities to a Buyer who willÄüifiöthéir bankindebtedness;-upon the
  1158. debt portfolio of the 13 entities by $500,000 and a cash payment to the Buyer of
  1159. b. According to Getzel, Cohen told him the parameters of the deal, including the
  1160. payment of $3,800,000 to
  1161. to pay
  1162. but Getzel did not know where Cohen was going to obtain
  1163. As noted above, Cohen had more than $5,000,000 in cash and
  1164. cash equivalents as of September 2017, but had only disclosed in his September 2017 Financial
  1165. Statement that he had $1.25 million in cash.
  1166. 28. Based on my review of records maintained by Sterling (as well as Melrose, the bank
  1167. with the participating interest in the loans) and reports of interviews of representatives of Sterling
  1168. (and Melrose), I have seen no evidence that Sterling, Melrose, or any other financial institution
  1169. involved in the potential deal with Cohen and
  1170. side payment from Cohen tc
  1171. was aware of the planned $3.8 million
  1172. The Illegal Campaign Contribution Scheme
  1173. 29. The USAO and FBI are also investigating a criminal violation of campaign finance
  1174. laws by Michael Cohen. As set forth below, there is probable cause to believe that Cohen made
  1175. 24 The reference to thirteen medallions appears to be an error by Getzel. Cohen and his wife
  1176. together owned sixteen corporations, which in turn owned 32 taxi medallions.
  1177. 38
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  1182. an excessive in-kind contribution to the presidential election campaign of then-candidate Donald
  1183. Trump in the form of a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, an individual who was rumored
  1184. to have had an extramarital affair with Trump, in exchange for her agreement not to disclose that
  1185. alleged affair. As set forth below, there is probable cause to believe that this payment was intended
  1186. to keep Clifford from making public statements about the rumored affair on the eve of the 2016
  1187. presidential election, and thus constitutes a campaign contribution in excess of the applicable limit.
  1188. 30. From my review Of biiblie-sources, I-have-learned-the-following:
  1189. a. In or around October 2011, there were rumors published on the gossip websites
  1190. TheDirIy.com that Trump had had an extramarital affair with Clifford, an adult film actress whose
  1191. screen name is Stormy Daniels, in or around July 2006. In or about October 2011, Life & Style
  1192. Magazine, a tabloid sold in supermarkets, also published an article, based on the report in
  1193. TheDirty.com, alleging an affair had occurred between Trump and Clifford. Both Trump and
  1194. Clifford, through their representatives, issued denials in response to the articles.
  1195. b. Specifically, on or about October 11, 2011, Keith Davidson, who identified himself
  1196. as Clifford's attorney, sent a cease and desist letter to TheDirty.com, demanding that the article
  1197. regarding Trump and Clifford be removed from the website. Additionally, on or about October
  1198. 12, 2011, Cohen, who was then Executive Vice-President and Special Counsel to the point
  1199. Organization, stated to E! News that "[t]he totally untrue and ridiculous story ... emanated from
  1200. a sleazy and disgusting website.... The Trump Organization and Donald J. Trump will be bringing
  1201. a lawsuit ... [and] Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization would like to thank and commend
  1202. Stormy Daniels and her attorneys for their honesty and swift actions."
  1203. 31. On or about June 16, 2015, Trump formally launched his 2016 presidential
  1204. campaign. On or about May 4, 2016, Tnlmp became the presumptive Republican Party nominee
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  1210. for president, and on July 19, 2016, Trump officially became the nominee. Based on my review
  1211. of public sources, I have learned that while it does not appear that Cohen had an official title as
  1212. part of the Trump campaign, on multiple occasions Cohen made public statements on behalf of
  1213. Trump or his campaign. For instance, on or about August 18, 2016, Cohen appeared on CNN to
  1214. defend Trump's polling numbers.
  1215. 32. On or about October 7, 2016, The Washington Post published online a video and
  1216. accompanying audio in whiCIiTi'üinp article-describe&as "vulgar
  1217. terms" in a 2005 conversation with Billy Bush, who was then the host of Access Hollywood. The
  1218. following day, on October 8, 2016, Trump appeared in a video in which he stated, among other
  1219. things, "I've said and done things I regret and words released today on this more than a decade old
  1220. video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said
  1221. it. I was wrong and I apologize." Based on my review of public sources, I also know that
  1222. representatives of the Trump Campaign stated, in sum and substance, that the Access Hollywood
  1223. comment was an old and isolated incident.
  1224. 33. Based on my review of public sources, including an article published in Slate
  1225. magazine by a reporter who interviewed Clifford, I have leamed that around this same time, in or
  1226. about October 2016, Clifford was in discussions with ABC's Good Morning America show and
  1227. Slate magazine, among other media sources, to provide these media outlets with her statement
  1228. about her alleged relationship with Trump. According to the article in Slate, which the author
  1229. based on conversations with Clifford over the telephone and by text message, Clifford wanted to
  1230. be paid for her story or be paid by Trump not to disclose her accusation. As Cohen summarized
  1231. in a 2018 email obtained pursuant to the Cohen Email Warrants: "In October 2016, I was contacted
  1232. 40
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  1237. by counsel for Ms. Clifford stating that news outlets, including ABC News, were pursuing the 2011
  1238. story of an alleged affair between Mr. Trump and Ms. Clifford."
  1239. 34. From my review of telephone toll records25 and information produced pursuant to
  1240. the iCloud Warrant and Cohen Email Warrants, I have learned that in the days following the Access
  1241. Hollywood video, Cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages, and emails with Keith
  1242. Davidson, who was then Clifford' s attorney, David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media,
  1243. Hope Hicks;-who-was-them
  1244. press secretary for Trump's presidential campaign. Based on the timing of these calls, and the
  1245. content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications
  1246. concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public, particularly in the wake of the Access
  1247. Hollywood story. In particular, I have learned the following:
  1248. a. On October 8, 2016, at approximately 7:20 p.m., Cohen received a call from Hicks.
  1249. Sixteen seconds into the call, Trump joined the call, and the call continued for over four minutes.27
  1250. Based on the toll records that the USAO has obtained to date, I believe that this was the first call
  1251. My attribution of certain telephone numbers to certain individuals as described in this
  1252. 25
  1253. affidavit is based on my review of the vCard (virtual contact file) and text messages obtained from
  1254. Cohen's telephone pursuant to the iCloud Warrant.
  1255. 26 Pecker is President of AMI and, according to his own statements in public reports, a personal
  1256. friend of Trump. Howard is the chief content offcer of AMI, who according to public records
  1257. reports directly to Pecker.
  1258. 27 | believe that Trump joined the call between Cohen and Hicks based on my review of toll
  1259. records. Specifically, I know that a call was initiated between Cohen's telephone number and
  1260. Trump's telephone number at the same time the records indicate that Cohen was talking to Hicks.
  1261. After the Cohen-Trump call was initiated, it lasted the same period of time as the Cohen-Hicks
  1262. call. Additionally, the toll records indicate a "-1" and then Trump's telephone number, which,
  1263. based on my training and experience, means that the call was either transferred to Trump, or that
  1264. Trump was added to the call as a conference or three-way call participant. In addition, based on
  1265. my conversations with an FBI agent who has interviewed Hicks, I have learned that Hicks stated,
  1266. in substance, that to the best of her recollection, she did not learn about the allegations made by
  1267. Clifford until early November 2016. Hicks was not specifically asked about this three-way call.
  1268. 41
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  1273. Cohen had received or made to Hicks in at least multiple weeks, and that Cohen and Trump spoke
  1274. about once a month prior to this date — specifically, prior to this call on October 8, 2016, Cohen
  1275. and Trump had spoken once in May, once in June, once in July, zero times in August, and twice
  1276. in September.
  1277. b. Approximately ten minutes after the call ended, Hicks and Cohen spoke again for
  1278. about two minutes.
  1279. c. At
  1280. David Pecker (as noted above, the President of American Media Inc., or AMI) and they connected
  1281. for thirty seconds. Approximately four minutes later, Cohen called Pecker again and they spoke
  1282. for more than a minute. Three minutes after ending his call with Pecker, Cohen received a call
  1283. from Dylan Howard (as noted above, the Chief Content Officer of AMI), and they spoke for
  1284. approximately a minute. According to toll records, it does not appear that Cohen and Howard
  1285. spoke regularly prior to October 8, 2016, as it had been over a month since they had called cach
  1286. other.
  1287. d. At 7:56 p.m., approximately eightminutes after his call with Howard ended, Cohen
  1288. called Hicks and they connected for two minutes. At approximately the same time this call ended,
  1289. Cohen received a call from Pecker, and they spoke for about two minutes. At 8:03 p.m., about
  1290. three minutes after ending his call with Pecker, Cohen called Trump, and they spoke for nearly
  1291. eight minutes.
  1292. e. At 8:39 p.m. and 8:57 p.m., Cohen received calls from Howard and spoke to him
  1293. for about four and six minutes, respectively. At 9:13 p.m., about ten minutes after Cohen and
  1294. Howard hung up from the second of these calls, Howard sent Cohen a text message that said:
  1295. "Keith will do it. Let's reconvene tomorrow." Based on my involvement in this investigation, I
  1296. 42
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  1301. believe that when Howard wrote "Keith," he was referring to Keith Davidson, the attorney for
  1302. Stephanie Clifford. At 3:31 a.m., now on October 9, 2016, Cohen sent Howard a text message in
  1303. response that said: "Thank you." Eight minutes later, Cohen sent Howard a text message that said:
  1304. "Resolution Consultants LLC. is the name of the entity I formed a week ago. Whenever you wake,
  1305. please call my cell."
  1306. f. The following day, on October 10, 2016, at 10:58 a.m., Howard sent a text message
  1307. to Cohen and Davidson, whiCh¯Stäted: "K-eith/Michael:-connecting-you-botlvin-regards-to-that_
  1308. business opportunity. Spoke to the client this AM and they're confirmed to proceed with the
  1309. opportunity. Thanks. Dylan. Over to you two." At 12:25 p.m., Davidson sent Cohen a text message
  1310. that stated: 'Wlichael — if we are ever going to close this deal — In my opinion, it needs to be today.
  1311. Keith." Davidson and Cohen then spoke by phone for about three minutes. Based on my
  1312. participation in this investigation, I believe that when Howard wrote that the "client" was
  1313. "confirmed to proceed with the opportunity," he was referring to Clifford's agreement in principle
  1314. to accept money from Cohen in exchange for her agreement not to discuss any prior affair with
  1315. 28
  1316. then-candidate Trump.
  1317. g. Based on my review of records obtained pursuant to the Cohen Email Warrants, I
  1318. know that on or about October 10, 2016, Clifford and Davidson appear to have signed a "side letter
  1319. agreement" that stated it was an exhibit to a "confidential settlement agreement and mutual
  1320. release" between "Peggy Peterson" and "David Dennison." The purpose of the document,
  1321. 28 As set forth below, AMI was also involved in a payment to model Karen McDougal.
  1322. However, because these communications were in close temporal proximity to the events involving
  1323. the negotiation of a payment to Clifford, the execution of the agreement with Clifford, and the
  1324. payment of money to Clifford, I believe that these communications were related to Clifford.
  1325. Additionally, based on my review of public statements by McDougal, I have learned that she
  1326. negotiated an agreement with AMI several months prior to these communications between Cohen
  1327. and Pecker, Howard, and Davidson.
  1328. 43
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  1333. according to the agreement, was to define the "true name and identity" of persons named by
  1334. pseudonym in "confidential settlement agreement and mutual release." The side letter agreement
  1335. specifies the identity of "Peggy Peterson" to be Clifford, but the space for "Dennison's" identity
  1336. is blank. The agreement also includes a signature page for "Peterson," "Dennison," and their
  1337. attorneys. The signature page is signed by "Peterson" and his attorney, Davidson, but the
  1338. document is unsigned by "Dennison" and his attorney. Based on my involvement in this
  1339. investigaii6hJFeliéVe¯thå€DavTdson
  1340. order to facilitate the closing of a deal between Davidson's client and Cohen or his client on
  1341. October 10, 2016.
  1342. It appears that on October 13, 2016, and the days that followed, Cohen took steps
  1343. 35.
  1344. to complete a transaction with Davidson, including attempting to open an account from which
  1345. Cohen could transfer funds to Davidson. Specifically, from my review of toll records, information
  1346. obtained pursuant to the iCloud Warrant and Cohen Email Warrants, records maintained by First
  1347. Republic, as well as my participation in interviews with First Republic employees, I have learned
  1348. the following:
  1349. a. On themorning ofOctober 13, 2016, at 8:54 a.m., Cohen sent Pecker atextmessage
  1350. that stated: "I need to talk to you." At 9:06 a.m., Pecker sent a text message to Cohen that stated,
  1351. "I called please call me back." The tolls between Cohen and Pecker do not show a telephone call
  1352. between 8:54 a.m. and 9:06 a.m. However, based on my review of text messages, I have learned
  1353. that Cohen and Pecker communicate with each other over Signal, which is an encrypted
  1354. communications cellphone application that allows users to send encrypted text messages and make
  1355. encrypted calls.
  1356. 44
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  1361. b. At 9:23 a.m., Cohen sent an email that stated "call me" to First Republic Employee-
  1362. 2. The email attached documents from the Secretary of State of Delaware indicating that Cohen
  1363. had formed a limited liability company called "Resolution Consultants LLC" on September 30,
  1364. 2016. As noted above, "Resolution Consultants" is the name of the entity that Cohen had told
  1365. Howard he had formed recently after Howard said Davidson would "do it." At 10:44 a.m., Cohen
  1366. called First Republic Employee-2 and told him, in sum and substance, that he needed an account
  1367. in the name of "Resoliiti6iiCöi1sultåiitS"öpened immediately;-andthathe did notwant-an-address
  1368. on the checks written out of the account. Later that day, another employee at First Republic
  1369. emailed Cohen account opening paperwork to complete. Cohen returned the account opening
  1370. documents partially completed, but failed to provide a copy ofhis driver's license or passport, and
  1371. did not respond to the employee's question of how he wanted to fund the account. As a result, the
  1372. account was never opened.
  1373. c. On October 17, 2016, Cohen incorporated Essential Consultants LLC in Delaware.
  1374. That same day, he filed paperwork to dissolve Resolution Consultants LLC.
  1375. 36. Despite these steps taken by Cohen, it appears that the negotiation between Cohen
  1376. and Davidson was not progressing sufficiently fast enough for Davidson or his client, Clifford,
  1377. and they threatened to go public with Clifford's allegations just days before the presidential
  1378. election. Specifically, based on my review of toll records, information obtained pursuant to the
  1379. iCloud Warrant, and public sources, I know the following:
  1380. a. According to an article in The Washington Post, which quoted emails sent from
  1381. Cohen's email account hosted by the Trump Organization, on October 17, 2016, Davidson emailed
  1382. Cohen and threatened to cancel the aforementioned "settlement agreement" by the end of the day
  1383. 45
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  1388. if Cohen did not complete the transaction? According to the article, Davidson sent Cohen a
  1389. second email later in the day that stated in patt, "Please be advised that my client deems her
  1390. settlement agreement canceled and void." At 4:00 p.m. that day, Cohen called Davidson and they
  1391. spoke for over five minutes.
  1392. b. Cohen's 4:00 p.m. call with Davidson and/or Davidson's threats to cancel the
  1393. "settlement agreement" appear to have touched Offa flurry ofcommunications about the settlement
  1394. agreement andÄQhéihéFCliffOiWwOUIWgo pubhc. Specifical
  1395. i.
  1396. At 4:43 p.m., Howard sent Cohen a text message that stated: "I'm told
  1397. they're going with DailyMaiI. Are you aware?" One minute later, Cohen responded: "Call me."
  1398. Based on my involvement in this investigation, I understand Howard's text to mean that he heard
  1399. that Clifford was going to take her story of an extramarital affair with Trump to the Daily Mail, a
  1400. tabloid newspaper.
  1401. ii.
  1402. At 4:45 p.m., Howard called Cohen and they spoke for over two minutes.
  1403. Moments later, Davidson and Cohen spoke for about two minutes.
  1404. iii.
  1405. At 5:03 p.m., Cohen attempted to call Trump, but the call only lasted eight
  1406. seconds. This was Cohen's first call after he spoke with Davidson.
  1407. iv.
  1408. At 5:25 p.m., Cohen texted Howard, stating: "Well???"
  1409. At 6:44 p.m., Howard responded to Cohen's text, stating: "Not taking my
  1410. calls." Cohen responded one minute later: "You're kidding. Who are you trying to reach?"
  1411. Howard responded one minute later: "The 'agent."' Based on my involvement in this
  1412. 29 Due to the partially covert nature of the investigation to this date, the USAO has not requested
  1413. documents from the Trump Organization or Davidson, and thus does not possess the email
  1414. referenced in this article.
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  1420. investigation, I understand Howard 's text messages to mean that he attempted to contact Davidson
  1421. about the matter involving Clifford, but that Davidson was not taking Howard's calls.
  1422. vie
  1423. At 6:49 p.m., Cohen called Howard and they spoke for nearly four minutes.
  1424. c. The following day, on October 18, 2016, TheSmokingGun.com, a website that
  1425. publishes legal documents and mugshots, published an article called: "Donald Trump and the Porn
  1426. Superstar," which alleged that Trump had an extramarital affair with Clifford. However, the
  1427. article noted that Clifford had declined to comment.
  1428. 37. On or about October 25, 2016, the communications between Cohen, Davidson,
  1429. Howard and Pecker picked up again, apparently concerning a transaction involving Clifford.
  1430. Specifically, based on my review oftoll records, information obtained pursuant to the Cohen Email
  1431. Warrants and iCloud Warrant, as well as my review ofpublic sources, I have learned the following:
  1432. a. On October 25, 2016, at 6:09 p.m., Howard sent Cohen a text message stating:
  1433. "Keith calling you urgently. We have to coordinate something on the matter he's calling you about
  1434. or its [sic] could look awfully bad for everyone." One minute later, Davidson sent Cohen a text
  1435. message stating "Call me." Cohen and Davidson called each other several times over the next half
  1436. hour but appear not to have connected. At 6:42 p.m., Cohen and Davidson spoke for about eight
  1437. minutes. At 7:11 p.m., they spoke for another two minutes.
  1438. b. The next morning, on or about October 26, 2016, at 8:26 a.m., Cohen called Trump
  1439. and spoke to him for approximately three minutes. At 8:34 a.m., Cohen called Trump again and
  1440. connected for a minute and a half.
  1441. c. At approximately 9:04 a.m.—less than thirty minutes after speaking with Trump—
  1442. Cohen sent two emails to the person who had incorporated Resolution Consultants and Essential
  1443. Consultants for him, and stated "can you send me asap the filing receipt" and then, in the second
  1444. 47
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  1449. email, "for Essential Consultants LLC." That person responded with the filing receipt two minutes
  1450. later at 9:06 a.m. and with the certification of formation 23 minutes later, at 9:27 a.m.
  1451. d. Shortly after that, Cohen contacted First Republic Employee-2 and told him, in sum
  1452. and substance, that he decided not to open an account in the name of "Resolution Consulting" and
  1453. instead would be opening a real estate consulting company in the name of "Essential Consultants."
  1454. Cohen told First Republic Employee-2 that he was at Trump Tower, and wanted to go to a First
  1455. Republic branch across the street to open the account, so Irs€RepubliéEmp10yee-2 called-First——
  1456. Republic Employee-I, a preferred banker at that branch, assist Cohen. At 11:00 a.m., First
  1457. Republic Employee-I called Cohen. I know from my participation in an interview with First
  1458. Republic Employee-I , that around the time ofthe call he went to Cohen's office in Trump Tower—
  1459. on the same floor as the Trump Organization—and went through account opening questions,
  1460. including know your customer questions, with Cohen. In response to a series of know-your-
  1461. customer questions about the purpose of the account—-the answers to which First Republic
  1462. Employee-I entered into a form—Cohen stated, in sum and substance, that he was opening
  1463. Essential Consultants as a real estate consulting company to collect fees for investment consulting
  1464. work, and all of his consulting clients would be domestic individuals based in the United States.
  1465. Based on my review of records obtained from First Republic, it appears that this account (the
  1466. "Essential Consultants Accoun€') was created at a time between 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  1467. e. At 1:47 p.m., Cohen called Davidson and they spoke for approximately two
  1468. minutes. At approximately 1 :49 p.m., Davidson emailed Cohen wiring instructions for an attorney
  1469. client trust account at City National Bank.
  1470. f. After the Essential Consultants Account was opened on October 26, 2016, Cohen
  1471. transferred $131,000 from a home equity line of credit that Cohen had at First Republic to the
  1472. 48
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  1477. Essential Consultants Account. Following the transfer, at approximately 4:15 p.m. on October 26,
  1478. 2016, First Republic Employee-2's assistant emailed Cohen at his Trump Organization email
  1479. address to tell him that the funds had been deposited into the Essential Consultants Account.
  1480. Cohen forwarded that email to the Cohen Gmail Account and then forwarded it to Davidson.
  1481. g. At 6:37 p.m., Cohen asked Pecker by text message, "Can we speak? Important."
  1482. Cohen called Pecker at 6:49 p.m. and connected for thirty seconds. At 6:57 p.m., Cohen sent
  1483. Howard a text message, stating: "Please call me. ImportanW.'S¯COhen CäIlCd-Howard-at8:00 p.m.
  1484. and connected for about thirty seconds. At 7:06 p.m., Cohen called Pecker again and they spoke
  1485. for nearly thirteen minutes. At 7:24 p.m., Howard sent a text message to Cohen that: "He said
  1486. he'd call me back in 20 minutes. I told him what you are asking for his [sic] reasonable. I'll get
  1487. it sorted." Approximately an hour later, at 8:23 p.m., Howard told Cohen by text message to
  1488. "check your Gmail for email from my private account." In an email sent at 8:23 p.m. by Howard
  1489. to Cohen and Davidson, with the subject line "Confirmation," Howard stated, "Thank you both
  1490. for chatting with me earlier. Confirming agreement on: - Executed agreement, hand-signed by
  1491. Keith's client and returned via overnight or same-day FedEx to Michael, - Change of agreement
  1492. to reflect the correct LLC, - Transfer of funds on Thursday AM to be held in escrow until receipt
  1493. of agreement." After receiving that email, at approximately 8:27 p.m., Cohen asked Howard by
  1494. text message, "Can you and David [Pecker] give me a call." Howard promptly responded: "David
  1495. is not around I think. I'll call." At 8:28 p.m., Howard called Cohen and they spoke for three
  1496. minutes.
  1497. 38. On October 27, 2016, Cohen made a payment to Davidson of $130,000—with the
  1498. funds intended for Clifford—for the purpose of securing her ongoing silence with respect to the
  1499. allegations that she had an extramarital affair with Trump. Specifically, based on my review of
  1500. 49
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  1505. toll records, bank records, and information obtained pursuant to the iCloud Warrant and Cohen
  1506. Email Warrants, I have learned the following:
  1507. a. At 9:47 a.m., Cohen sent Davidson an email, stating: "Keith, kindly confirm that
  1508. the wire received today, October 27, 2016 shall be held by you in your attorney's frust account
  1509. until such time as directed for release by me, in writing. Additionally, please ensure that all
  1510. paperwork contains the correct name of Essential Consultants LLC. I thank you in advance for
  1511. your assistance and look forward to hearing from-j6ii1ater."
  1512. b. At approximately 10:01 a.m., according to records provided by First Republic
  1513. Bank, Cohen completed paperwork to wire $130,000 from the Essential Consultants Account—
  1514. which had been funded a day prior from Cohen's home equity line of credit—to the attorney client
  1515. trust account at City National Bank that Davidson had specified in the wiring instructions he sent
  1516. to Cohen. The wire transfer was made shortly thereafter.
  1517. c. At 10:02 a.m., Davidson responded to Cohen's email from 9:47 a.m., stating: "I
  1518. confirm that I will work in good faith & that no ftnds shall be disbursed unless & until the plaintiff
  1519. personally signs all necessary settlement papenvork, (the form of which will match the prior
  1520. agreement). The settlement docs will name the correct corporation, (Essential Consultants LLC).
  1521. Plaintiff s signature will be notarized and returned to you via FedEx. Only after you receive FedEx
  1522. will I disburse. Fair?"
  1523. d. At 10:50 a.m., First Republic Employee-I sent Cohen an email confirming that the
  1524. payment had been sent and providing him with the wire number.
  1525. 39. On October 28, 2016, and the days that followed, Cohen finalized the transaction
  1526. with Davidson. Specifically, based on my review of toll records, information obtained pursuant
  1527. to the iCloud Warrant, public sources, and bank records, I know the following:
  1528. 50
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