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April 15, 2014

IRS: Lawyer hid millions

MALONE — A New York City attorney who frequently defended clients from the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation pleaded guilty to income-tax evasion.

Stanley L. Cohen, an attorney with offices on Avenue D in New York City and Jeffersonville, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Syracuse to a felony count of corruptly obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.

He is expected to be sentenced to 1½ years in prison when he appears before Judge Norman Mordue on Aug. 21.

Cohen apparently deposited $3.67 million in his accounts but paid little or no taxes on it, officials said.

As part of the plea agreement, he must plead guilty to other counts involving failure to file tax returns between 2005 and 2010.

Investigators determined Cohen filed no tax returns for those six years.

In tax year 2004, he claimed $289,000 in income, but the IRS showed he had deposited more than $426,000 that year.

He “kept no financial records regarding income or payment of fees from clients” and failed to file the appropriate forms for a law-office assistant who worked for him.

BIG CASH DEPOSITS

A safe-deposit box Cohen had in a Jeffersonville bank held $50,000 in cash, and records revealed he accessed the box 77 times between 2006 and 2008 and deposited $504,000 over that period.

About $183,500 of it was deposited on days when he accessed his box, and “on many occasions, Cohen made multi-thousand dollar cash deposits at the Jeffersonville bank and frequently exchanged small bills for $100 bills,” the release states.

Prosecutors also showed that he made more than $194,000 in cash deposits in 2004, more than $237,000 in 2005, more than $321,000 in 2006, more than $395,000 in 2007 and more than $405,000 in 2008.

In 2009, after the execution of search warrants, Cohen deposited more than $54,000 and more than $147,000 in cash in 2010, the release state.

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