Prosecutors have increased the frequency of their interviews with Cohen since they began in the fall of 2019 soon after the district attorney’s office subpoenaed Trump’s accountant for his taxes.
Cohen, who worked for Trump for about a decade and once said he would take a bullet for Trump, knows the inner workings of the company. Prosecutors are interested in speaking with Cohen because he can help explain the culture of the company and the relationships between Trump, his family, and Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
Prosecutors are investigating whether the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of its assets when dealing with lenders and insurance companies and deflated them when filing taxes.
They are also investigating tax deductions taken on fees paid to consultants, including Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter, and conservation easements given on Seven Springs, a family estate in Westchester County, NY.
Cohen told Congress that Trump inflated and deflated the value of certain assets to obtain loans and lower his tax bill. He also was involved in the hush-money payment scheme and pleaded guilty to nine charges, including campaign finance violations, in connection with the scheme.
Investigators met with Cohen three times in late 2019 while he was serving time at a federal prison in Otisville, NY.
Friday’s meeting is believed to be the first meeting that will be in person at the DA’s office, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cohen has been serving the remainder of his sentence from him home in Manhattan.
The district attorney’s’ investigation has gained momentum this year. In February Cy Vance, the district attorney, recruited Mark Pomerantz, a well-regarded former federal prosecutor, to shepherd the investigation. Pomerantz has spent decades as a defense lawyer working on financial investigations and has an insight into how those cases are brought and how corporations and individuals defend against them. They also brought in an outside forensic accounting firm.
Vance’s office last month, after a 16-month court battle, gained access to eight years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns and related records. Investigators have been pouring over the records, which total in the millions of pages. Vance is not running for re-election and, people familiar with the matter say, he is likely to decide whether to charge a case before he leaves office in December. The decision could still be months away, according to people familiar with the matter.