Judge Says Michael Cohen’s Lawyer Cited 3 Cases That Apparently Don’t Exist

Attorney David Schwartz referenced the three cases in a motion calling for the early termination of Cohen’s supervised release.

A lawyer for Michael Cohen cited cases that don’t exist in a motion calling for the early termination of his client’s supervised release, a judge said Tuesday.

Cohen received a three-year prison sentence in 2018 after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and campaign finance charges over his role in facilitating hush money payments from his former boss Donald Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels. He spent a little over a year behind bars and served the remainder of his sentence in home confinement before being released in November 2021. Cohen, however, still faced three years of supervised release.

Attorney David Schwartz wrote in a motion letter dated Nov. 29 that since 2022, “there have been District Court decisions, affirmed by the Second Circuit Court, granting early termination of supervised release,” listing three cases: United States v. Figueroa-Florez, United States v. Ortiz and United States v. Amato.

However, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman identified an issue with those examples.

“As far as the Court can tell, none of these cases exist,” Furman wrote.

Furman added that they also reached out to the clerk of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, “who found no record of any of the three decisions” and said one of the three docket numbers was invalid.

Furman ordered Schwartz to submit copies of the three cases by Dec. 19, noting that if he cannot do so, he should explain why he shouldn’t be sanctioned. The judge also wants to know whether Cohen, a lawyer himself, took part in preparing the motion.

“Any such submission shall take the form of a sworn declaration and shall provide, among other things, a thorough explanation of how the motion came to cite cases that do not exist and what role, if any, Mr. Cohen played in drafting or reviewing the motion before it was filed,” Furman wrote.

The decision on Cohen’s motion for the early termination of his supervised release will be delayed until this matter is resolved, Furman added.

E. Danya Perry, a new lawyer for Cohen who said she joined the case after Schwartz filed the motion in question, told The New York Times Cohen had no comment on the issue.

“In conducting my own research in support of Mr. Cohen’s motion, I was unable to verify the case law that had been submitted by previous counsel in his initial papers,” Perry said in a statement to the Times and Politico. “Consistent with my ethical obligation of candor to the court, I advised Judge Furman of this issue.”

Schwartz has not commented on the judge’s order.

Cohen, Trump’s former personal fixer who turned into one of the former president’s fiercest critics, testified for New York Attorney General Letitia James in her civil fraud case against Trump. He is also expected to take the witness stand in the criminal trial next March in the lawsuit Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought against the former president.

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