Before 2016, Michael Cohen, a successful New York City lawyer, remained relatively anonymous on the national stage. However, his association with Donald Trump, the 45th US president, drastically changed his status quo. As Trump's personal attorney, Cohen played a pivotal role during the president's most controversial moments, eventually landing him in significant legal trouble.
In 2018, a notable scandal emerged when Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for his involvement in a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Cohen asserts he paid her $130,000 on behalf of then-presidential candidate Trump to silence her about an alleged 2006 affair.
This payment came just before the crucial 2016 presidential election.
Cohen's Pinnacle of Wealth
Cohen's pre-2016 financial status was robust, with estimates from Celebrity Net Worth placing his net worth at a staggering $100 million.
A significant portion of this wealth originated from his ownership of over 200 coveted New York City taxi medallions. Additionally, with valuable real estate holdings, including properties within Trump buildings and a luxurious $9 million penthouse at Trump Park Avenue, Cohen's annual revenue was bolstered beyond his $1 million salary from the Trump Organization.
However, his association with Trump led to a series of legal battles, forcing Cohen to shoulder mounting legal fees. Today, his estimated net worth has plummeted into the negatives, with debts rounding to nearly $1 million.
One major blow to Cohen's assets was the decreasing value of NYC taxi medallions, which once fetched over a million dollars each. The rise of rideshare platforms has significantly depreciated their value to approximately $100,000 each.
Adding to his financial woes, Cohen is also grappling with a $500 million lawsuit from Trump for allegedly violating attorney-client privilege. As Cohen navigates this maze of legal challenges, the fees continue to accumulate, reportedly costing him over $100,000 monthly, pushing him towards bankruptcy.
Despite the financial turbulence, Cohen found a bit of solace in his tell-all book about Trump titled "Disloyal". Although exact figures remain unconfirmed, reports suggest he secured around $1.5 million for the memoir, which has sold over a million copies.
His sequel, 'Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics', also found a place on bestseller lists. However, even with these successes, Cohen's financial challenges persist. Recent reports indicate he owes the IRS an overwhelming $1.4 million.
With his financial situation in disarray and legal battles continuing, Cohen's story serves as a cautionary tale about the fleeting nature of wealth and the price of political involvement.