Trump lawyer Michael Cohen owes more than $103K on Chicago taxicab medallions
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President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen owes fines totaling more than $103,000 to the City of Chicago on his 22 taxicab medallions that are managed by Ukrainian immigrants who were named in a search warrant when federal investigators raided Cohen’s New York office earlier this month.
Five of Cohen’s medallions expired Feb. 28 and have not been renewed, including one that was pulled by a city investigator Feb. 11 for failure to carry insurance, according to the documents released Friday by Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates taxis.
That cab is among a dozen of Cohen’s cited over the last year 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. They face fines of $2,000 a day if city regulators or police officers find them operating in Chicago.
Cohen’s other 17 medallions are slated to expire next year. He would have to pay off his $103,220.60 debt before renewing them with the city.
Cohen paid nearly $5.8 million to purchase the 22 medallions over the last eight years, documents show. He bought 10 medallions for $185,000 apiece in 2010; eight medallions for $330,000 apiece in 2013 and four medallions for $320,000 apiece in 2014.
His cabs are operated by Chicago Medallion Management Corp., whose corporate secretary, Semyon Shtayner, reportedly was named along with wife Yasya Shtayner in the April 9 search warrant on Cohen’s New York offices by agents looking for records regarding Cohen’s business dealings, including a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from discussing allegations she had sex with Trump years ago.
Yasya Shtayner has received loans totalling as much as $20 million from Cohen’s father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, over the past eight months, Cook County records show.
Early in March, Shusterman made four loans worth a total of at least $8 million — and possibly up to $16 million — to Yasya Shtayner and two companies she owns, including 2737 W. Fulton LLC, named after the address where Chicago Medallion Management operates. And last Aug. 21, Shusterman gave Shtayner four loans totaling at least $12 million and possibly as much as $24 million.
Shusterman had previously financed medallions owned by Shtayner and her family in 2009 and 2013, according to state records obtained by the Sun-Times. Shtayner is being sued by the credit union that financed medallions. The value of taxi medallions has plummeted in recent years due to competition from Lyft and Uber.
Cohen also has 32 medallions in New York City. His cabs there were once operated by Symon Garber, a Ukrainian immigrant who became Chicago’s taxi king, operating more than 700 cabs after he befriended Patrick Daley, the son of Mayor Richard M. Daley, more than 15 years ago. In Chicago, the mayor controls the number of cabs that can operate in the city.
Garber also owns a company that lends money for the purchase of taxi medallions, including some that were purchased by companies owned by the Shtayners.