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Welcome to my blog. For those of you who do not know, I, Michael Szafranski, was recently released from the Federal Prison Camp in Miami, Florida where I spent 11 months. It took six years from the time that I knew I was under investigation to the day I reported to prison. In many ways those six years were worse than the 11 months I actually sat. This blog is going to deal with many of the issues facing people like myself who are just trying to navigate the legal system when they find out they are in trouble and are thrown into the crazy world that is our criminal justice system. My case was kind of high profile so I dealt with it all. I am sharing what I learned so that others will be a little more prepared as to how to deal with various situations and to hopefully shed a little bit of light on what really goes on in the system. Please email me with any questions and if you would like to utilize my consulting services. Appreciate any comments and critiques! Follow along as I publish my book at https://www.wattpad.com/user/whitecollarguru. Email me at mike@whitecollarguru.com with any questions.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Michael Cohen Is Going to Jail. And It Will Be Very Bad For Him.

Michael Cohen is going to prison. No he has not been indicted. No he has not been charged in any complaint so far. But the one thing that is for certain is that he is going to prison and probably for more that a year.

How do I know this? No, I do not have any inside information. Nor am I privy to any details of the Mueller investigation. I am just seeing the facts as they come out and it seems to me he is doing everything in his power to cut the best deal possible because Michael Cohen committed more than a few illegal acts. Let us examine the facts:

1. He taped a conversation with his client who at the time was the Republican candidate for President of the United States. Aside from the fact that no lawyer should be allowed to tape a conversation with his client, he clearly did so with the intent to use the recording at a later date when he was caught. Why else would he decide to tape his client? If my lawyers did that without my knowledge, you can be sure that my first phone call would be to the Bar. I would then try to recoup all of the fees paid to him. The only motivation for this tape would be to either gain favor with a prosecutor or to (illegally) blackmail the President. At the very least either one of these will lead to his losing his license to practice law.

2. Michael Cohen has not asserted that the tapes fall under attorney-client privilege. Now clearly the President won't do so as it will make it look like he is trying to cover something up. But for Cohen, by not asserting the privilege, we can only conclude that he is all too happy to use the tape as a bargaining chip.

3. Michael Cohen's lawyers are now saying that President Trump knew about the meeting with the Russians. Now he offers no proof at all but he is saying that not only was the campaign involved in collusion, the President himself was well aware of it. It is quite obvious that if there is proof that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians, then he is in big trouble. Again, however, imparting this would seem to violate the attorney-client privilege. To be sure, I seem to remember that privilege can be broken when illegal acts are committed, but it is the prosecution that needs to prove that. It is not for the lawyer to decide.

Why is Michael Cohen doing this? I suppose one could argue that he is offended that the President has not reached out to him since the raid on his office. But if Michael Cohen was so sure that he did nothing wrong, then why start cooperating and making allegations about the President without any proof? The answer is simple. Michael Cohen is in the process of or has already worked out a deal to plead guilty to some offense and go to prison.

Can we blame him? I have said multiple times that the most important part when it comes to evaluating whether to take a plea is the family. It could be as simple as Michael Cohen preferring to go away for five years instead of 20.

There is something else worth considering however. While it is understandable for an innocent person to plead guilty, snitching is another matter. The decision to snitch, and when I say snitch, I mean give over information that had the prosecutors not had it, another person would not be indicted, is a hairy issue even when all of the facts are true and there is evidence to back it up. Even then it is viewed as selfish. Indeed, many people spend additional years in prison so that they do not implicate other people. I know many people like this. It takes a pretty low person to attempt to sacrifice another person to lessen his time, especially when that person is someone who basically made you what you are and did nothing to you. By bringing someone else down a defendant is taking another man away from his family. This is unconscionable.

The life of a snitch is also not so pleasant in prison. While it is clearly worse if someone has to go to a higher security facility, even in camps he is branded as a snitch. Other prisoners will avoid him. His reputation is sullied as soon as people find out, and in prison, everyone find out. Michael Cohen is going to go to prison as a snitch who attempted to bring down a President by divulging information that may not be true and by recording his client. How do you think that is going to go for him?  I can tell you one thing, it will not go well. So Mr. Cohen, I hope it was worth it because prison, which on its best day is unpleasant is going to be especially miserable for you. And you deserve it!

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