President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including campaign finance violation, tax evasion and lying to Congress over a possible Trump Tower Moscow project.
Judge William Pauley said that "Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct" and "lost his moral compass," CBS News reports.
Judge Pauley added that "as a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better."
Prosecutors recommended a "substantial term of imprisonment" while Cohen's lawyers asked that he serve no time.
"The charges portray a pattern of deception, of brazenness and of greed," New York prosecutor Nick Roos said in court on Wednesday. "Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process."
Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, argued that Cohen "came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in the country."
According to The Associated Press, Cohen said in his defense that "blind loyalty" to Trump "led me to take a path of darkness instead of light."
Prosecutors believe that Cohen committed illegal acts at the request of Trump, who has condemned Cohen, calling him "not very smart."
"Michael Cohen is lying and he's trying to get a reduced sentence for things that have nothing to do with me," Trump told reporters last week.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Cohen violated campaign finance laws by paying off two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump acting "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, a presidential candidate at the time. Trump has called the payments nothing more than a "simple private transaction" and that they don't qualify as campaign finance violations.
Cohen worked for Trump for more than 10 years, famously proclaiming that he would "take a bullet for the president" and "never walk away." But after investigators targeted his personal finances, Cohen flipped on Trump and cooperated in multiple investigations.
The duo's relationship has soured since earlier this year. When Cohen's apartment and office were raided in April, Trump called him a "good man" and the raid "a disgraceful situation."
Prosecutors in the Justice Department's Southern District of New York charged Cohen with eight felony counts in August, including tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution and campaign violations. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, also charged Cohen with an additional count of lying to Congress last month.
Cohen pleaded guilty to all nine counts.
Trump has made no indication that he would potentially pardon Cohen.