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Morgan Stanley Had Filed a Suspicious-Activity Report on Trump’s Lawyer

May 22, 2018

A law-enforcement official tells the New Yorker that two suspicious-activity reports on President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen were missing from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN. One of the SARs was filed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, according to the magazine.

Cohen is under investigation in connection to his use of a shell company, Essential Consultants, L.L.C., to get payments from various entities, including one with ties to a Russian oligarch, the New Yorker writes.

The official tells the magazine that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney had filed a SAR connected to two accounts Cohen had set up between June and September of last year. Cohen deposited two checks for $250,000 each and one for $505,000 into these accounts from his Essential Consultants account, according to the New Yorker.

Morgan Stanley flagged the transactions as potentially showing signs of “bribery or gratuity” and “suspicious use of third-party transactors (straw-man),” the magazine writes. Some of that money came from transfers totaling over $2 million that First Republic had flagged as well, according to the New Yorker.

President Donald Trump (Getty)

The bank had filed several SARs in relation to Cohen, including two the official who spoke to the magazine hadn’t been able to locate in the FINCEN database. These reports allude to well over $3 million in activity, including money Cohen received from AT&T, Novartis and an investment firm connected to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, according to the magazine.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the New Yorker article cited in this story, click here.