FBI raid of Trump lawyer’s office sought info on ties to Chicago cab operators

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Two people familiar with the financial fraud investigation of Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, say his lawyers are in negotiations with prosecutors that could result in a plea deal, possibly within hours. | Yana Paskova/Getty Images

FBI agents who raided the New York offices of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen last week reportedly were seeking information on the attorney’s ties to the Ukrainian operators of one of Chicago’s largest taxicab management companies.

Among Cohen’s “business interests and sources of income” that court documents indicate were the target of the search warrant, sources told CNN that agents were looking for information the lawyer’s dealings with Semyon and Yasya Shtayner.

Semyon Shtayner is the secretary of Chicago Medallion Management Corp., which has offices in the West Town neighborhood and manages 368 taxi medallions — the metal licenses that allow cabs to operate in the city.

The company manages 22 medallions owned by Cohen’s company, along with many others.

The cabs are parts of various fleets in Chicago, but not Chicago Carriage Cab or Royal 3 CCC Taxi, the companies operated by Cohen’s former business partner, Symon Garber, who became the city’s largest cab operator after he befriended Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son Patrick about 15 years ago.

But Chicago Medallion has owned or managed some medallions that have been financed by Tri-Global Financial Services, whose president is Garber, according to his LinkedIn profile. Cohen also has 32 taxi medallions in New York City for cabs that were formerly operated by Garber.

The Shtayners; who live in Forest Hills, New York; and a lawyer for Chicago Medallion did not immediately return messages seeking comment Saturday.

In the last year, a dozen of Cohen’s Chicago cabs have been cited with 89 violations that include having expired insurance and license plates and failure to have a licensed manager at the company that dispatched those cabs on Chicago’s streets, records show.

Chicago Medallion has 207 medallions that are active, according to the website for the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, the City Hall agency that regulates cabs. Chicago Medallion has another 97 medallions in foreclosure, 50 other have been surrendered, and 14 are in violation of city ordinances.

Flash Cab operates 193 of the medallions — 114 are active, 42 are in foreclosure, 32 have been surrendered, and five have violations. Flash Cab operates 10 of Cohen’s 22 medallions.

Ace Cab Association has 89 of the medallions — 34 are active, 47 in foreclosure, five have violations and three have been surrendered.

Yellow Cab has 63 of the medallions — 43 active, three in foreclosure, 13 have been surrendered, and four have violations.

Checker Taxi has 13 of the medallions — 12 active and one has been surrendered.

The 5 Star Taxi Association has 10 — four are active, five are foreclosed and one has been surrendered.

In addition to the taxi dealings, Cohen’s law office and home in New York City were raided Monday by agents looking for records regarding his $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from discussing her allegations she had sex with Trump years ago.

Trump has denied the affair and says he knew nothing about Cohen’s payment to Daniels.

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