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Indicted Brooklyn Judge Says Credit Union Demand for iPhone Violated Fifth Amendment Rights

New York Law Journal

23 Mar 2020

Carrie Cohen was featured in the New York Law Journal’s coverage of the case against her client Sylvia Ash, the state Supreme Court judge accused of obstructing an investigation into the state-chartered credit union whose board she used to chair.

According to Carrie, key evidence against her client had been obtained in violation of her Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination, arguing in a court filing that the Municipal Credit Union was effectively acting on behalf of federal prosecutors when it told the judge in June 2018 to return the iPhoneX its chief executive had issued her just months before.

“The facts further support that the government, which at the time was in the midst of an investigation regarding financial irregularities, fraud, and embezzlement at the MCU, used its coercive power, including any implied threat that less than total cooperation by the MCU could result in criminal prosecution of it, to cause the MCU to issue the request for electronics to Ms. Ash,” Carrie wrote in a court filing. “This is sufficient to attribute MCU’s actions to the state.”

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