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Michael Cohen admits fake cases in early release bid came from Google AI program

Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump’s onetime fixer Michael Cohen sent his attorney non-existent legal cases produced by the artificial intelligence program Google Bard as he sought to beef up his petition for early termination of his supervised release, according to a letter to the court made public Friday.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2018, sought an early end to his term of supervised release in a motion that included three cases he believed backed up his argument. His lawyer said Cohen mistakenly believed Google Bard “to be a supercharged search engine, not a generative AI service like Chat-GPT.”

That the invalid citations were included in Cohen’s motion his attorney insisted “was a mistake driven by sloppiness, not malicious intent” but Judge Jesse Furman is now considering whether to impose sanctions.

“As a non-lawyer, I have not kept up with emerging trends (and related risks) in legal technology and did not realize that Google Bard was a generative text service that, like ChatGBT, could show citations and descriptions that looked real but actually were not,” Cohen said in a sworn statement to the court made public Friday.

In his own letter to the court, Cohen’s attorney David M. Schwartz said he believed the legal citations came from a different attorney for Cohen, Danya Perry.

“If I had believed that Mr. Cohen had found these cases, I would have researched them. It was my belief, however, that Mr. Cohen had sent me cases found by Ms. Perry,” Schwartz said.

Judge Furman gave all parties until January 3 to submit additional comments about possible sanctions and whether Cohen deserves early termination of supervised release.

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