Criminal Justice

Lawyer who represented terrorism suspects pleads guilty to tax charge

A New York lawyer who represented Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law has pleaded guilty to obstructing the Internal Revenue Service.

Stanley Cohen, 63, pleaded guilty today in Syracuse, according to The New York Times had an advance story on the expected plea.

Cohen was accused of failing to report $20,000 in cash fees from a client in 2008, and $15,000 in Canadian currency from a second client in 2010, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan had alleged Cohen solicited payment in cash to avoid reporting requirements. Duncan also claimed Cohen failed to file tax returns from 2005 to 2010, and filed a false return in 2004.

Cohen told of his decision to plead guilty in a Twitter post on Sunday. “After painful discussions with my family, friends, supporters, and colleagues and clients at home and abroad, I have elected to end this particular witchhunt and harassment,” he said.

Cohen had contended the prosecution was retaliation for representing terrorism suspects. One client was Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who was convicted in March of conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material support to terrorists.

Cohen said he expected to lose his law license and to be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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