A look at Michael Cohen’s finances after he makes a surprise court appearance
- Michael Cohen served as the fixer and personal lawyer for President Donald Trump until May 2018.
- Adult film star Stormy Daniels alleged that Cohen paid her hush money over an affair with Trump.
- On Aug. 21, Cohen surrendered to the FBI in a plea deal.
- On November 29, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about the Russia investigation.
Michael Cohen served as the personal lawyer and fixer to President Donald Trump up until May 2018 when he left Trump’s team due to legal conflicts. In the latest charge against Cohen, he has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress regarding the proposed “Trump Tower” project in Moscow. Previously he said discussions with the Russians had finished in January 2016. He now reveals discussions continued to as late as June 2016, well into President Trump’s campaign.
Cohen worked for the Trump dynasty for over ten years, and Trump himself selected Cohen as his personal attorney around the time of his inauguration in January 2017. Previously, Cohen worked with the Trump Foundation as executive vice president and special counsel to Trump. Cohen, who at one time said he would take a bullet for the president, surrendered to the FBI on Aug. 21, The Washington Post reported. Cohen will face three to four years of jail time as part of his plea deal, which required a sign-off by the IRS and includes the former fixer’s admitting guilt in multiple counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud, according to CNN.
Cohen’s profile spiked in January 2018 when The Wall Street Journal reported that he wired $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels in October 2016.
Click to read about how much President Donald Trump is worth.
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Michael Cohen Net Worth: $20 million
Cohen’s net worth is $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth — and Cohen’s salary is $1 million — with a good chunk of his personal wealth coming from his investments in the taxi industry and real estate. In June, Celebrity Net Worth reported Cohen’s net worth as $100 million; the reasons for the dramatic drop in his net worth are unclear.
Cohen might have also taken out a loan using his taxi companies as collateral, The Washington Post reported in April 2018. The value of his taxi medallions, essentially taxi licenses, has dramatically declined in recent years, from over $1 million to less than $200,000 each.
His real estate dealings are no more pristine. In 2014, he sold four buildings in Manhattan for $32 million in cash to unknown buyers, The New York Times reported. Cohen alleged the buyers were “a real estate family fund that had been around for centuries” in an interview with McClatchy, the Miami Herald reported.
Although Cohen has his own wealth — enough to buy and flip buildings — the Trump campaign had paid portions of his legal fees, ABC News reported in April 2018. How his guilty plea will affect his net worth remains to be determined.
Michael Cohen’s Clients
Trump is Cohen’s most famous and visible client. He also serves at the behest of Fox News pundit Sean Hannity, The New York Times revealed in April 2018. Before he aligned himself with Trump, Cohen ran a personal injury practice, where his clients would stage car accidents for personal gain, Newsweek reported in May 2018. Cohen has been hired to represent corporations, sometimes without having his credentials thoroughly vetted. Switzerland-based healthcare company Novartis hired Cohen for his healthcare expertise, but after one meeting decided he would be unable to provide the expected services, Vox reported.
Michael Cohen’s Life and Career
Cohen was born in 1966 and grew up in Nassau County in New York. His parents were Sondra, a nurse, and Dr. Maurice Cohen, a surgeon and Holocaust survivor.
Cohen received his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., in 1991. Now known as Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, the institution is, by most accounts, the worst law school in America. It has gotten in hot water due to reports of inflated salary data given to its students, according to Reuters, and for requesting that data regarding its poor academic performance not be released, according to legal news website Above the Law.
He kicked off his legal career as a private injury lawyer in 1992. Around that time, he began investing and dealing in the taxi business.
Trump and Cohen crossed paths in the early 2000s, when Cohen, as a member of the condo board at one of Trump’s properties, helped Trump resolve a tenant dispute. Trump might value Cohen for his declared loyalty to the president. “If somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn’t like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump’s benefit,” Cohen was quoted as saying in a 2011 interview with ABC News.
Cohen and his wife Laura have two children.
Click to keep reading about Trump’s surprising spending habits.