A business transaction gone sideways has resulted in federal prison time for one of the sport’s most active promoters.
Greg Cohen was found guilty of wire fraud and sentenced to six months in a New York State-based federal prison in a ruling handed down by The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to court documents—of which BoxingScene.com has obtained a copy—the founder and CEO of Greg Cohen Promotions was formally charged with defrauding an individual of false pretenses.
The matter is unrelated to boxing or any athletes Cohen has represented, but rather surrounding a loan he secured for a stock investment which never took place. An investigation conducted by Mason Posilkin, a special agent for the United States Attorney's Office discovered that Cohen entered a non-boxing related business arrangement around April 2016, accepting $200,000 for an investment transaction alleged to have been worth more than twice the amount, only for the deal to never occur.
Special Agent Posilkin alleges that the incident extended through December 2017, at which point it was sent over to and investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office.
Judge Katharine H. Parker authorized an arrest warrant for Cohen this past January, which at the time alleged that Cohen never paid repaid the $200,000. According to information obtained by BoxingScene.com, Cohen did pay back the loan in full and also at 77% interest–totaling $354,000–and cooperated to the point of extenuating circumstances believed to result in a punishment absent jail time. Despite pleas from character witnesses and members of Cohen’s community, the federal court felt it was fit to send him to prison.
Under federal law for sentences not exceeding one year require the offending party to serve 100% of the imposed time. BoxingScene.com has learned through legal sources with knowledge of the case that there exists room for Cohen to at least have days at a time of supervised freedom in exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations.
Cohen is required to surrender to federal authorities within 60 days of sentencing, by no later than January 20, 2020. Upon completion of his sentence, Cohen will then be subject to three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service.
Greg Cohen Promotions represents more than two dozen fighters, including unbeaten heavyweight contender Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller and former secondary middleweight titlist Rob Brant.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox