Lawyer Barry Cohen’s $5K check to Charlie Crist’s committee bounces

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It hasn’t been the best of times for Tampa attorney Barry Cohen.

The Tampa Bay Times Peter Jamison recently revealed that Cohen owes at least $35 million to “out-of state financial firms …  the result of high-interest loans Cohen has used for at least the past decade to fund his unusually expensive brand of high-stakes, contingent-fee litigation.”

Now, I’ve been told that Cohen’s $5,000 check to Charlie Crist’s political committee bounced.

On March 29, Cohen contributed $5,000 to “Charlie Crist for Florida,” according to a report posted online by the committee. On April 3, the report shows an expenditure in the same amount. The committee confirmed that the check had been returned for insufficient funds.

Cohen has dismissed past speculation about his money problems as the aspersions of envious competitors in the legal community, reported Jamison. He continued to downplay questions about his firm’s solvency, saying he has plans to take care of the debts and expects the revenue from several large, ongoing cases to ease the money crunch over the next few years.

Far be it for me to criticize someone for bouncing a check, so let’s hope things turn around quickly for Cohen.



Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.