Cohen partner gets probation in tax fraud case

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A past associate of President Donald Trump's imprisoned former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to probation Wednesday for engaging in tax fraud.

Evgeny Freidman, 48, who was dubbed the Taxi King of New York for managing cab fleets for investors including Cohen, was sentenced in Albany County Court, The New York Times reported .

Freidman pleaded guilty last year to pocketing $5 million in taxi fees that were supposed to fund public transportation. In the deal with prosecutors, Freidman also agreed to cooperate in the federal investigation of Cohen, as well as pay $1 million in restitution.

"I'm very humbled by what has happened," Freidman said before he was sentenced. "I have started fresh."

Evgeny's lawyers have said ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have destroyed his business and forced him into wrongdoing.

Prosecutors revealed in court that Freidman has helped the attorney general's office investigate the lending practices of the taxi medallion industry.

For years, Freidman managed hundreds of taxi medallions, the physical plates affixed to cabs that owners are required to display, including more than two dozen owned by Cohen, Trump's longtime fixer.

Cohen last year pleaded guilty to several charges, including tax evasion, lying to Congress and breaking campaign finance laws by arranging payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.

The president has denied any sexual relationship with either woman and said any payments were personal matters, not campaign expenses.

___

Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com