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Goldman Banker Gets House Arrest, Then Fires Lawyer

Bob Van Voris
Goldman Banker Gets House Arrest, Then Fires Lawyer

(Bloomberg) -- A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker charged in connection with an alleged insider-trading ring got a surprise at a federal court hearing in New York, and now he’s looking for a new attorney.

Bryan Cohen, a 33-year-old French national charged with two counts of conspiracy, saw the bond he posted for his release tripled on Tuesday to $750,000 from $250,000 by U.S. District Judge William Pauley. The banker, who pleaded not guilty, also was ordered to remain under house arrest with a GPS bracelet until his trial.

That result didn’t sit well with Cohen or his uncle, Andre Perez, who was one of the potential cosigners on the bond. Both men appeared to blame one of Cohen’s attorneys, Ira Sorkin, a partner at Mintz & Gold LLP who has been a federal prosecutor and a top enforcement lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and counts among his former clients Bernie Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison term for the largest-ever Ponzi scheme.

“You should have known your client,” Perez told Sorkin outside of court in a comment overheard by a reporter. “You should have asked the questions. House arrest and $750,000 is not the best outcome.”

On Thursday, Sorkin sent a letter to Pauley saying Cohen had fired him. Sorkin said his firm would continue to help Cohen until he lines up a new attorney. Sorkin declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

Cohen, who was placed on paid leave by Goldman after his Oct. 18 arrest at his Manhattan apartment, didn’t respond to an email.

A prosecutor had urged the judge to jail Cohen, claiming he was a flight risk. Pauley denied the request, but increased the bond because he was “troubled by the defendant’s apparent lack of complete candor” about his finances in discussions with the office that advises on bail.

“I didn’t lie,” Cohen fumed to a reporter after the hearing Tuesday. “I disclosed everything. I’ve been completely transparent.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Steve Stroth

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