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NYC attorney with north country ties faces tax evasion allegation

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A New York City attorney who has represented several members of the St. Regis Mohawk tribe on various issues for more than two decades has been indicted on federal charges alleging he evaded taxes and failed to report large cash payments he received.

Stanley L. Cohen, 61, faces counts in U.S. District Court of obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service and failing to file required reports regarding currency transactions.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Mr. Cohen failed to file individual and corporate federal income tax returns from 2005 to 2010. He also is alleged to have received more than $10,000 in currency in one transaction during the course of his law practice and that he failed to maintain books and records documenting financial information about his practice.

U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian said in a prepared statement that Mr. Cohen allegedly solicited and received cash payments for legal services, keeping significant amounts of cash in a safe and a safety deposit box, paying for expenses of his practice with cash. He also allegedly made regular deposits of cash into personal financial accounts, often in amounts of less than $10,000 in order to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports as required under U.S. Code.

Mr. Cohen has represented several criminal defendants in the north country, including a Mohawk businessman who pleaded guilty in 1998 to failing to file currency reports stemming from what prosecutors claimed was a $700 million cigarette and alcohol smuggling operation, as well as one of six defendants convicted of conspiring to rob Daniel P. Simonds in 2008 at his town of Stockholm residence. During an ensuing struggle, Mr. Simonds was shot and killed. Mr. Cohen has also represented defendants facing drug charges in Jefferson County Court.

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