On Tuesday porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti released a seven-page dossier that contained a list of payments reportedly made to Michael Cohen.
However, there’s a problem with the documents Avenatti released: two of the allegedly “fraudulent” payments were made to men that are named Michael Cohen but have no affiliation whatsoever with President Trump.
Michael Avenatti’s report included a section listing “possible fraudulent and illegal financial transactions” involving Trump’s lawyer. One of the payments is a $4,250 wire transfer from a Malaysian company, Actuarial Partners, to a bank in Toronto.
Zainal Kassim, a representative for Actuarial Partners, told The Daily Caller that Michael Avenatti’s report is a case of mistaken identity. He forwarded an email to the Caller that the falsely accused Michael Cohen sent to Avenatti requesting the lawyer “correct this error forthwith and make it known publicly” there is no connection to Trump’s Michael Cohen.
“You are surely aware of the fact that this is an extremely common name and would request that you take care before involving innocent parries in this sordid affair,” wrote Cohen, who told Avenatti he is an international consultant who was paid by Actuarial Partners for work on a project in Tanzania.
“Actuarial Partners have already received inquiries from the press in this regard, and we would like to see this scurrilous rumour spiked as soon as possible.”
Israeli news outlet Haaretz also found another case of mistaken identity in Michael Avenatti’s report.
“Mr. Cohen received one wire transfer in the amount of $980.00 from a Kenyan bank from account holders Netanel Cohen and Stav Hayun to an account in Israel at Bank Hapoalim,” Avenatti wrote.
Haaretz caught up with Netanel Cohen, who acknowledged having a bank account in Kenya and transferring money to a Michael Cohen. But the Michael Cohen in questions is his brother, Netanel told the news outlet. And his brother is not Trump’s lawyer.
“I’ve never heard of Michael Cohen, and I have no connection to this affair,” Netanel told Haaretz.
It is unclear how Avenatti obtained the financial records cited in his report. But various news outlets, including The New York Times, also appear to have viewed the documents. The Treasury Department’s office of the inspector general opened an investigation into whether someone leaked Cohen’s financial documents to Avenatti and the press, it was reported on Wednesday