USA

Accountant accuses Michael Cohen of ‘extortionist cash grab’: suit

An accounting firm that Michael Cohen accused of messing up his tax returns has hit back — saying the convicted tax fraudster made an “extortionist cash grab” when he sued the company, according to new court papers.

Accountant Jeffrey Getzel charges in Manhattan Supreme court papers that Cohen can only blame himself for his legal woes, “but now [Cohen] wants the world to believe he is an innocent soul that fell upon troubled times only because his accountants failed and betrayed him. The assertion is absurd.”

President Trump’s former “fixer” filed a suit in March against Getzel and his firm Getzel Schiff & Pesce LLC claiming their accounting errors in his tax returns from 2012 through 2016 led to him unwittingly fail to report $4 million in income that resulted in criminal tax evasion charges, court papers said.

Specifically, he claimed an accountant failed to identify Cohen’s tax obligations for income he received from personal loans he lent to the so-called “taxi king” Gene Friedman and another Chicago taxicab operator.

But Getzel fired back in court papers, seeking to dismiss the lawsuit and arguing that “the fixer ultimately got fixed and pleaded guilty to nine criminal counts of violating the law, five of which were for tax fraud.”

“Cohen’s comeuppance can be attributed to one person and one person only: Cohen himself,” the court documents charge.

While Cohen copped to the tax fraud charges, he “like others who have been in his position look to blame hard working professionals who did their jobs properly,” the court filings allege.

Getzel argues that the lawsuit should never have been filed, “But, since Cohen went out of his way to file this lawsuit from prison, in what can only be described as an extortionist cash grab, Defendants move for dismissal,” the court papers say.

Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence after admitting to the tax charges, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. He was sprung from prison and placed on home confinement last month due to coronavirus concerns.

Lawyers for Cohen and Getzel did not immediately return requests for comment.

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