More bad lawyer news: lawyer, prison, tax evasion

Today the New York Law Journal allowed me to “grab” this entire story: Activist Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion | New York Law Journal

Defense attorney Stanley Cohen has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for what prosecutors said were his attempts to evade taxes on millions of dollars in income by seeking annual extensions without ever filing tax returns from 2005-10.

Northern District Judge Norman Mordue (See Profile) handed down the sentence Friday against Cohen, who had pleaded guilty in April to corruptly obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service and failing to file tax returns. Mordue sentenced him to 18 months in prison on the obstruction charge and 12 months for failure to file tax returns, to run concurrently.

Cohen, who has made a career of representing unpopular clients, including several terrorism defendants and claimed he wouldn’t take a case unless he agrees with his client’s politics, has also lost his license to practice law.

I’m a little confused by that last paragraph. How does tax evasion occupy the same philosophical compartment with representing “unpopular clients,” and agreeing “with his client’s politics?”

If Mr. Cohen cared that much about his clients, you’d think he’d want to be out of prison wielding an operative law license, the better to defend them.

But if you click on the link, you’ll see a marvelous photo of Mr. Cohen, smiling broadly, so maybe he has other plans.

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