Treasury Official Arrested For Manafort And Russia Related Leaks

Treasury employee accused of leaking confidential banking reports of suspects charged in Mueller probe

Treasury employee accused of leaking confidential banking reports of suspects charged in Mueller probe

We now have our first look at the senior advisor at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) who has been arrested and charged for the unauthorized leak of confidential bank records to a BuzzFeed reporter.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards allegedly leaked multiple confidential reports and emails to a single reporter at the site who included information from them in 12 different stories.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney's office declined to comment.

The feds didn't name the new outlet, but headlines cited in court papers identify it as BuzzFeed.

In January 2017, BuzzFeed also published a series of unverified memos alleging that Russian Federation has damaging and salacious information about President Trump, who's called it the "Fake Dirty Dossier".

Edwards, 40, a senior adviser in the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as "FinCEN", was arrested and charged by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY with one count of unauthorized disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports and one count of conspiracy to make such unauthorized disclosures.

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EDWARDS had access to each of the pertinent SARs and saved them - along with thousands of other files containing sensitive government information - to a flash drive provided to her by FinCEN. She will have a hearing at Wednesday afternoon in front of a judge in the U.S. District of Eastern Virginia.

Each crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Hudak and Richard Delmar, a spokesman for the Treasury Department's internal investigative unit, both declined to comment on the allegations involving the associate director.

The complaint also describes alleged communications Edwards had with "Reporter-1", which took place over phone calls and encrypted messaging applications.

The court documents also indicate the FBI has investigated one of Edwards's bosses, an associate director of FinCEN, noting that person exchanged 325 text messages with the reporter in question during the month when the first story appeared citing SARs reports. In August 2018, for example, Edwards and the reporter exchanged 541 messages, the indictment says. On Wednesday, she confessed to leaking the reports but "falsely denied" knowing the SARs would be published, the complaint says.

Those reports - sent to FBI agents and federal prosecutors, and reviewed by BuzzFeed News - stated that Manafort appeared to be running shell companies and that his transactions often lacked a clear business objective and showed signs of "layering", meaning that they seemed created to obscure the original source of the money.

On Wednesday, the judge in Virginia said Edwards's next court appearance will be in NY, prior to November 2.

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