Criminal Justice

Lawyer pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud in case involving business associate of Michael Cohen

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money and gavel

A New York lawyer pleaded guilty on Thursday for her role in helping “taxi king” Evgeny Freidman withhold nearly $5 million from the government in surcharges collected for cab rides.

The lawyer, Andreea Dumitru, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal tax fraud in the third degree, according to a press release from the New York Attorney General’s office.

Freidman has been a business partner of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

The government claimed Dumitru and Freidman, a disbarred lawyer, withheld nearly $5 million in taxes that had been collected from passengers over a four-year period ending in 2015. In her plea, Dumitru admitted failing to pay the government more than $10,000 in surcharges collected from taxi customers in about a one-year period ending in February 2016.

As part of the plea, Dumitru will pay $25,000 in restitution and will cooperate with civil investigations related to Friedman’s taxi business. Friedman has already pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud. He also reportedly agreed to cooperate with the government, according to prior coverage.

Dumitru pleaded guilty to a felony, but she will be allowed to withdraw the plea and plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of tax fraud in the fifth degree if she complies with the agreement.

In a separate case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced in March that Dumitru, an immigration attorney, was being indicted on one count of asylum fraud and one count of making false statements. According to the press release, Dumitru is alleged to have submitted more than 180 fraudulent asylum applications for clients between 2012 and 2017.

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