Delaware’s limited liability companies are back in the news with the Wall Street Journal (paywall) reporting Sunday that President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen used a First State LLC in making controversial payments.
The Journal identified the company as Essential Consultants LLC.
The Journal reported that Essential Consultants was used by Cohen to send payments from businessman Elliott Broidyto a former Playboy model who was pregnant.
Broidyresigned from a post with the Republican National Committee after an earlier Journal story on the payment
The story stated that the same LLC was used by Cohen in paying adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford).
Clifford says she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became president. Trump has denied that the relationship took place.
The report comes after FBI agents gained a search warrant to search Cohen’s office, home and hotel room as part of an investigation.
According to the Journal, Essential Consultants was targeted by investigators, due to a suspicious activity report from a West Coast bank.
The bank was identified as San Francisco-based First Republic.
Delaware corporate laws that allow minimal disclosures for LLCs have come under fire as recently as last week when federal authorities seized the Backpage.com website in an investigation into human trafficking.
Backpage was identified as a Delaware LLC.
The state, which derives a large amount of revenue from incorporations, says it supports more disclosure if required on a federal level.
Otherwise, LLC business will go to other states, Delaware officials have argued.