Michael Cohen’s Missing Suspicious Activity Reports | The Last Word | MSNBC



well as we just said thanks to reporting by Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker we now know the source of the information about Michael Cohen's bank transactions that stormy Daniels lawyer Michael avenatti first made public last week Ronan Farrow has revealed that the source is an unnamed law enforcement official The New Yorker article does not specify whether this official is a federal law enforcement official but the official does reportedly have a high degree of expertise about suspicious activity reports about Michael Cohen's banking practices those reports are filed with the Treasury Department and maintained by Treasury's Department the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes enforcement network known as Vincent it is a crime to publicly release those suspicious activity reports the official who made the Michael Cohen suspicious activity report public knows the legal risks involved the official told Ronan Farrow to say that I am terrified right now would be an understatement the official added this is a terrifying time to be an American all of the information that Michael avenatti first made public about Michael Cohen's bank accounts comes from one of three suspicious activity reports that banks filed on Michael Cohen that suspicious suspicious activity report refers to two previous suspicious activity reports that the official who leaked the report says are now missing the two previous reports do not appear on the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes enforcement network the official told Roman Farrow I have never seen something pulled off the system when something's not there that should be that should be I immediately became concerned that's why I came forward this is a permanent record they should be there and there is nothing there the suspicious activity report that has been released shows compliance officers repeatedly trying to figure out what Michael Cohen was up to Morgan Stanley Smith Barney filed a suspicious activity reports saying that the transactions in Michael cones account there showed signs of quote bribery or gratuity previous reports have indicated that the FBI raid on Michael Cohen's home and office and hotel room was those were aides were in search of evidence of multiple criminal offences including bank fraud when Michael Cohen opened a first Republic bank account for essential consultants LLC he told the bank that the LLC was set up to use quote his experience in real estate to consult on commercial and residential deals Cohen told the bank that his transactions would be modest and based within the United States in fact the compliance officers wrote a significant portion of the target account deposits continued to originate from entities that have no apparent connection to real estate or apparent need to engage Cohen as a real estate consultant a significant portion of the deposits continues to be derived from foreign entities David Mari a former Treasury official who will join our discussion in a moment told The New Yorker there are a ton of red flags here the pattern of activity has indicators that are inherently suspicious and the volume and source of funds do not match the account profile that was built when the account was opened there is evidence of possible tax fraud in Cohen's use of the essential consultants bank account for personal expenses Ronan Farrow reports that Michael Cohen used it to pay his American Express AT&T and mercedes-benz bills marking account numbers on the memo lines of his checks he paid initiation fees and dues to the core Club a social club that The Times once described as a portal to power he also cut himself multiple personal checks from essential consultants amounting to more than $100,000 on top of the million he had already deposited into his Morgan Stanley accounts special prosecutor Robert Muller has been investigating these banking transactions since at least the end of last year some of the companies like AT&T and Novartis that paid Michael Cohen for questionable purposes have revealed that the special prosecutor has questioned the companies about those payments one of the people who was paid by Michael Cohen from the essential consultants account is Mark Coe he's listed as the CEO of Demeter direct a Korean food company based in Los Angeles The Washington Post reports tonight that mark ko insists that he served only as a translator for Michael Cohen and Michael Cohen's deal with a South Korean aerospace company that paid Michael Cohen a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a South Korean company insists that it was paying Michael Cohen for advice on accounting procedures required under government contracts something Michael Cohen knows absolutely nothing about joining us now is David mari a former US Treasury official who focused on illicit financing he is currently the vice president at financial integrity Network and David I Yuri I want to get more of your reaction as you report it to Ronan Farrow in his reporting about what you see in these in these reports about Michael cones banking transactions you you said there's a lot of red flags here like what yeah thanks Lawrence for having me the biggest red flag really is that the account activity does not match the profile that the institution established at own boarding so when when first Republic own boarded michael cohen when they when they one boarded a central consulting they established an idea of what his activity what the company's activity would look like through that account the activity that actually went through the account did not look like the profile that they established it on boarding that's a that's a major red flag and that in and of itself can be cause for financial institution to file suspicious activity report david i'm so struck by the amount of work it would take for a bank to monitor this kind of activity this is a major new york bank will the vast number of accounts massive amounts of money coming in multi hundred thousand dollar checks million checks passing through banks like this is routine what would get their attention to say we need to spend some real man-hours here with our inspectors trying to figure out what Michael Cohen is up to that's right Lawrence it's a tremendous and it's a tremendous investment for banks both in terms of both in terms of human capital and in terms of information technology the information technology makes this somewhat easier for banks you know the the suspicions can come from a number of sources within a bank it can come from an employee or it can come from an automated monitoring system and you know this kind of this kind of activity would most likely be detected by the automatic monitoring system and when when a bank establishes an account it should establish a band an acceptable band for the operations of that account the criteria could include things like monthly turnover it could include whether the whether the account is is receiving incoming and outgoing wires or just one or the other it could include whether the whether the account is receiving money just domestically or from abroad so if an account moves outside of that band then alert an alert would be generated an alert should be generated by the bank's automated monitoring systems at that point a human being would start to look at the would start to look at the information both the transaction history and the information collected at onboarding and then if if the human being decides you know this looks suspicious this looks like it's out of pattern then the human being would would escalate that up their chain and eventually that would cause a suspicious activity report to be filed and David I you heard my discussion with Rachel Maddow about what happened to the other two suspicious activity reports the two missing reports that provoked this current government official to decide to leak the suspicious activity report that remains right I did so that would have been outside of my really outside of my scope at the Treasury Department so I you know I could really only speculate on that and be responsible for me to speculate well let me try a couple of things on you the only the only thing that I can think of that makes a certain sense and would be would be understandable is what were those reports removed by the special prosecutor because the special prosecutor wanted to isolate those for their own purposes even though in normal circumstances all of these reports remain available basically as a data bank for investigators all around the country to be able to look at in whatever cases they might be using in this particular case since it involved an investigation close to the president's special prosecutor might want to say I want to isolate those two now the flaw in my question is why wouldn't they have isolated all three of them but this is where we are tonight is it possible that the special prosecutor wanted to isolate two of those yeah I mean I said I suppose it I suppose it is possible there Ronen reported in a story that there's a provision in Vincent's record-keeping policy that allows them to segregate reports that are deemed to be highly sensitive manok certainly I think something that would that that is that is being used or referred to by the special prosecutor that to me would would seem to fit the definition of highly sensitive but really were in the were in the realm of speculation here it's it's very difficult it's very difficult to know what happened and you know I mean of course the reports been been reportedly leaked but you know I haven't seen the report obviously you haven't seen the report so you know I mean it's it's difficult to know because so much of this is is really necessarily shrouded in secrecy secrecy I was I would assume that many of the bank inspectors who do this kind of work within banks might themselves have previous work experience working in Treasury at various levels it's not unusual for people to migrate out to the private sector sector in an area of expertise they already have what I'm so impressed with David is is is is is a whole level of investigative interest that I really wasn't aware were capable of working this way because when I look at what the bank inspectors were doing in-house it's quite extraordinary they whether it's a computer that triggers their interests or whatever triggers their interests once they start looking at Michael Cohen's actual transactions they apparently go out onto Google and start finding articles about Michael Cohen and linking up public information about michael cohen and about what he does and they start drawing conclusions that he actually has no expertise in the area that these for example the korean aerospace company who wants to engage him and they start writing up reports based on information they're gathering in a wider ranging investigation beyond just the bank's information that's right lawrence banks if banks have made a huge investment in monitoring for this kind of activity and also also in sanctions compliance i you know i mean really the the suspicious activity reporting program the sanctions compliance programs i mean they're they're really public-private partnerships where the the government the government the financial institutions work very closely together a number of banks do have former Treasury officials working there people who were experts in intelligence or sanctions or money-laundering a regulatory policy so you know they understand you know not only what money laundering or sanctions evasion looks like but they really understand and internalize the importance of the mission and you know the investment that they've made along with the along with the human capital that the banks have brought in it's really what's made this program what's made this program so effective david murray former treasury official thank you very much for your expertise tonight and joining us in the program really appreciate it hey there i'm chris hayes from MSNBC thanks for watching MSNBC on youtube if you want to keep up to date with the videos we're putting out you can click subscribe just below me or click over on this list to see lots of other great videos

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Cohen was probably shipping the money to Russia or paying off other women that tRump had relations with while married

  2. Unintended consequences maybe: The leaker giving the SARs to Avanetti to make public tipped off everyone in the country on what the prosecution has. I don't see how this is going to help their case. More time for damage control. Plus, the leaker will be found and prosecuted..

  3. His story in no way washes. So, this Treasury agent was so concerned that he couldnt find a report, which he has given no reason for viewing, which means only that a transfer of greater than $10k was made, which wasnt actually 'missing'… that he gave confidential bank account information to a pornstar's lawyer, instead of reporting it to the FBI, or, hey, Mueller, or even to the press?

    You all know what happened. Either Avenatti approached, or was approached by someone selling confidential information, he, being completely incompetent, boasted about it on CNN with no forethought as to consequences and when a Federal investigation into it was about to catch him, the leaker went to NYT and claimed to be a 'whistleblower'. But hey, make the most of your denial while you can, because theyve all stepped in very deep doodoo. They got greedy and killed the golden goose.

  4. Mueller Investigation so far: 22 Indictments 4 Guilty Pleas. 1 In Jail. 3 Back Channels. 72 Secret Russian Contacts 50 Calls, Emails, Comms with Russians 22 Meetings with Russians 10+ Lied, 2 under Oath 1 Probably Dossier.

    Right, nothing to see here. Trump is sooooo innocent. MAGA!

  5. Trump is most likely going nuts over why Mueller won't say anything …. Best strategy is to ignore Trump …

  6. It would be interesting to me to know how many WH denizens and related people are moving their money now, last week, when Mueller was first appointed to run the Trump Campaign/Trump/Russia investigation.

  7. Yes, large bribes transferred to crooked Trump's accounts.Hang'em high. All these cheap thieves and con men. Show them NO MERCY.

  8. You can call them leakers or traders or what ever label people want to put on them….at the end of the day and the bottom line, thank God there are people who have morals and ethics otherwise we will lose "everything" we have to maintain some form of justice and it doesn't appear that our so called Christians are going to do it. They 'refuse' to speak out against this corrupt lying President. We are living in Sad times….so much Hatred and division created by Trump and now today another school shooting in Texas.

  9. We are intended to be, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
    Brave people own up to their mistakes and fix them. Cowards corrupt our freedom. It’s time Mr. Trump grow up and begin to honor our great nation.

  10. When you put a shady "business" man in the White House, then everyone and everything around him becomes shady. Politicians, by nature, are greedy enough without putting the self-proclaimed King Of Greed at the fore! Would really hope that the "Trump Train"-ers (or Chump Train) could see this by now… But we all know- the more light you shed on Trump corruption, the thicker their willful blind darkness becomes…

  11. I can think of several possible scenarios behind this turn of events – and I don't like a single one of them. Something stinks – but I can't tell for certain where it's coming from.

  12. Suspicious Activity Reports SARs get thrown around like empty gum wrappers. Sometimes people are doing something illegal and sometimes they aren't. If he was doing something illegal they will find out. Now if you work in house and see two SARs are missing all you do is kick it up the chain and your done it's out of your hands and you are free and clear of any responsibility. The last thing you do is take a SAR, go outside and give it to a reporter and say "hey something's wrong with this I need you to report on it" now your a criminal and you should be terrified because your a absolute moron and should be fired and go to jail.

  13. Many years ago, my former husband was called into the Police station to answer questions. He knew he had done nothing wrong, so he answered their questions without fear. He had made some bank transactions that had matched a suspicious activity report. After the interview, it was clear that it was just co-incidence; he was free to go. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if you didn't do anything wrong, there is no danger in answering authority's questions. trump/cohen don't act like innocent men.

  14. Follow the money and the debt! The truth will be revealed soon enough. "Don the Con"…Lock them up, all of them, the whole family and the entire administration! So many Crooks.

  15. The file are part of the Treasury Dept. I bet that Manuchen has something to do with this more than Mueller. Mueller knew that it's not public info and secured by law. So, the DOJ or Treasury top people (trump's lackies) have access & authority to obstruct. Mueller might be denied by Treasury. If there was a court order, reporters might have found out. My thoughts.

  16. I have to doubt that Trump will survive the year. I hope he goes and I'm not concerned by the means of his departure as long as it's legal. The last time a (Republican) administration displayed such a degree of disdain for legalities was the Harding administration's Teapot Dome Scandal in the early 1920s. Harding died before the scandals of his administration became public and he's viewed as one of the worst or perhaps the worst president in history. Trump should be so lucky.

  17. Morgan Stanley filed reports with Treasury about Michael Cohen's suspicious activities. Two of the three reports were missing. A concerned official suspected foul play and leaked the remaining report about Michael Cohen's suspicious transactions in order to preserve its validity. Who would have the intent, power and connection to destroy criminal evidence related to Michael Cohen? Who would do that? Is it so hard to guess?

  18. The various off shoots in the investigation are starting to look like a city road map and when it is all revealed(?) in court I hope we have full disclosure and avoid the ridiculous fiasco of the likes of the Warren Commission and the unbelievable " magic bullet " theory !!

  19. I bet that weasel and traitor Devin Nunes is behind this. That guy should be hung by his feet…Mussolini style.

  20. If banks are such careful watchdogs of suspicious activity, how has Trump, according to reports I've seen, been able to get away with laundering money for Russian oligarchs for decades?

  21. We don't know the leaker's name and I hope it's never uncovered. But he or she is an American patriot and a hero. I only wish there was a way to thank that person for standing up for the rule of law and for our nation.

  22. 1:48 Suspicious Activity Reports missing from the Treasury Dept………..Munchkin is Secretary of the Treasury ……………….I WONDER WHO REMOVED THEM???????????????

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