Michael Cohen may have violated the terms of his prison release by eating out at a restaurant in Manhattan

michael cohen
Michael Cohen is seen returning to his Manhattan home on May 21, 2020, after being granted a furlough from prison due to the coronavirus.

David Dee Delgado/Getty

  • The New York Post obtained photos showing Michael Cohen eating out at a Manhattan restaurant Thursday night.

  • Cohen is currently serving a three-year sentence under home confinement, and eating out appears to be a violation of the conditions of his release from a federal prison camp.

  • Business Insider reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for comment but did not immediately receive a response Saturday morning.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Michael Cohen was spotted potentially breaking the terms of his prison release by dining out at a Manhattan restaurant with friends Thursday night, according to a report from the New York Post.

The Post obtained photos of Cohen eating at Le Bilboquet with his wife, Laura, and another couple Thursday night.

Cohen was President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer. He pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to making false statements to Congress about his contacts with Russia-linked individuals.

Related: 7 takeaways from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation

Cohen — who is serving a three-year sentence for tax evasion, bank fraud, campaign-finance violations, and lying to Congress — was released on furlough from a federal prison camp in upstate New York at the end of May, over coronavirus concerns. He's currently serving his sentence, which will end in November 2021, under home confinement at his family's New York City apartment.

Eating out appears to be a violation of the conditions of his release. According to a description of what furloughs entail on the Bureau of Prisons website, inmates on furlough must not "leave the area of his/her furlough without permission, except for traveling to the furlough destination, and returning to the institution."

"An inmate who violates the conditions of a furlough may be considered an escapee...and may be subject to criminal prosecution and institution disciplinary action," the document states.

Business Insider reached out to both the Bureau of Prisons and Cohen's lawyer, Jeffrey K. Levine, for comment early Saturday morning, but did not immediately receive a response from either.

However, Levine spoke to the Post and defended Cohen's dinner, saying his client "did not violate any of the terms and conditions of his release…and any assertion or suggestion to the contrary would be wholly inaccurate and untrue."

But experts who spoke to the Post said the pictures raised a red flag and could land Cohen in serious trouble.

Cameron Lindsay, a former BOP official, told the Post that the dinner "doesn't look right" and that he "found it unusual."

"I don't know that I ever remember furloughs being approved for social reasons," Lindsay said.

The Post also spoke with a "prominent Manhattan defense attorney" who said it was "common sense" that Cohen "shouldn't be dining at restaurants" while on furlough.

"It's a privilege to furloughed as a result of the coronavirus," the unnamed lawyer said."His furlough should be revisited by the warden and it should be revoked."

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