This evening, lawyers for Michael Cohen filed a letter with Judge Kimba Wood claiming that Michael Avenatti erred with respect to some of alleged payments made to Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants L.L.C. Cohen, through his lawyers, claims that the payments were not made to him. Here’s a challenge: Have Mr. Cohen disclose all records of all payments reflected in Avenatti’s memo that Cohen acknowledges were actually made to him or Essential Consultants, including, but not limited to, (don’t you love that lawyer-talk), the following:
- All e-mails and voice mails between Cohen/Essential Consultants, on one side, and the payors, on the other, leading up to the initiation of the payments through the date(s) that the payments ceased being made;
- All records of the payments themselves, including contracts with the payors, checks, invoices, and receipts; and
- All internal records of Cohen/Essential Consultants detailing the work performed.
Now, if Mr. Cohen will not provide this information, the payors, many of whom have made serial and conflicting explanations for the payments, should provide all of the documentary information that they have with regard to the payments.
I would note that, under New York law, “Generally, licensed professionals may not set up a general business corporation (GBC) to provide professional services.” Thus, any engagement with Essential Consultants was not for the purpose of seeking legal advice. Therefore, any communications with Cohen, in his role as the sole member or manager of Essential Consultants, is not protected by the attorney/client privilege.