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Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen sells stakes in NY apartment buildings

New York

MICHAEL Cohen, US President Donald Trump's former personal attorney who recently pleaded guilty to campaign-finance and tax crimes, has sold his interest in two Manhattan apartment buildings, public records showed.

Mr Cohen sold his stakes in 330 East 63rd St and 133 Ave D earlier this month, according to documents filed with New York City.

The records show a combined sale price of almost US$13 million, but that also accounts for Mr Cohen's share of the debt, a person familiar with the sales said. Mr Cohen cleared about US$7 million, having purchased his stakes in the properties in 2015.

The buyers were trusts connected to Eric Nelson, a co-investor in the buildings. It's unclear if Mr Cohen, a long-time real estate investor who has racked up high legal bills, needs the funds or plans to invest in different property.

The six-storey building at 330 E 63rd St, on the Upper East Side, was built in 1949 and has 90 apartments, according to real estate website StreetEasy.

Three of the units are listed as available, all at rents over US$4,000 a month. In the East Village, 133 Avenue D, completed in 1930, has 20 apartments across its six floors. None are listed as available.

As the value of some of his biggest holdings - taxi medallions - plunged in response to the increased popularity of ride-sharing, Mr Cohen's finances have deteriorated. In New York, medallions values have plummeted as much as 80 per cent in value since 2014.

Mr Cohen and his wife Laura recently pledged their apartment in the Trump Park Avenue - a 10th-floor unit combining three units - as additional collateral to underpin millions of dollars of troubled debt held by Sterling National Bank of Montebello, New York.

Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations and awaits sentencing in December.

CNN reported Wednesday that Mr Cohen was "resigned to the fact that he's going to go to jail for some time". BLOOMBERG

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