Investigation Claims Trump Lawyer Cohen Harassed Rent-Stabilized Tenants
According to an investigation spearheaded by the nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative (HRI), attorney Michael Cohen, known for being President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, allegedly engaged in tenant harassment and falsified paperwork in order to quickly turn a profit on three rent-stabilized buildings he owned in Manhattan.
Cohen, who recently pleaded guilty to eight federal crimes related to tax evasion and campaign finance violations, purchased three rent-stabilized buildings in Manhattan and “commenced a deliberate campaign to systematically harass tenants out of their apartments using destructive, hazardous, and illegal construction practices, so he could dramatically raise rents,” according to a press release from HRI.
The three Manhattan buildings were each purchased by a shell corporation linked to Cohen, who continued to collect rent from each property’s tenants. However, HRI found that in each case, Cohen submitted construction permits to the Department of Buildings claiming there were no rent-stabilized tenants. This tactic allowed him to perform construction without DOB oversight.