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Lawrence native Michael Cohen returned to upstate Otisville


After being taken back into custody on July 9, for violating the terms of his furloughed release from prison, Lawrence native and former lawyer for President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen was returned to upstate Otisville, on the same day.

Cohen, 53, who was released from  Otisville  on May 21 because of the coronavirus pandemic, is now being held in the solitary housing unit for 14 days also due to the virus at the federal medium security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp and a detention center.

The housing unit is the medium security part of the facility. More than 60 inmates identified as “older” were released through the same 30-day rolling furlough process as Cohen from Otisville. 

He violated the rules of his release that includes not using social media. He posted at least 20 tweets  on Twitter since he got out of prison. The other violation is for being at Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant in Manhattan on July 2, which is tied to the  parameters of the agreement that he cannot leave home without permission.

The tweets ranged from saying Cohen was “so glad to be home and back with my family,” on May 21 to responding to other tweets to “Favorable ruling yesterday by the Court as I am close to completion of my book,” on July 2.

Similar to many inmates who are granted home confinement, Cohen would have been asked to report to a halfway house and then fitted for an ankle monitor. Instead, because of the violations, he was told to report to the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where he was met by what is called a residential re-entry manager and federal marshals and detained, according to a person very familiar with the process. He was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after his re-arrest.

Cohen was serving a three-year prison sentence for breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress, among other charges in 2018. He was also ordered to pay $1.39 million in restitution, forfeit $500,000 and pay a $50,000 fine. The guilty pleas to the federal felony charges resulted in his disbarment as a lawyer in New York state.  

Serving as Trump’s personal attorney, Cohen arranged six-figure payments to a porn star known as Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, to buy their silence about their one-time affairs with the president.

Cohen grew up in Lawrence off Central Avenue. He attended. Hillel, which was in Lawrence, and merged with the Hebrew Institute of Long Island of Far Rockaway to form the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway in 1978. 

A 1984 graduate of the Woodmere Academy (now Lawrence Woodmere Academy) , Cohen  was listed as general counsel to Trump in the listing of 100 alumni in 100 years of LWA’s centennial edition in 2012. A year later his job description was executive vice president of the Trump Organization in the 2013-14 school calendar.