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- Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a senior Treasury Department employee with leaking suspicious financial activity reports to the news media.
- Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was arrested Tuesday and will appear in court later on Wednesday.
- The alleged leaked reports related to President Donald Trump’s former campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as the Russian embassy.
A senior adviser for the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) was charged Wednesday with leaking suspicious financial activity reports related to President Donald Trump’s former campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as the Russian embassy.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, was arrested Tuesday and is set to appear in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Wednesday, CNBC reported.
Prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that Edwards leaked the suspicious activity reports – known as SARs – or described their contents to a reporter “on various occasions” between October 2017 and October 2018.
They also said they found a flash drive in her possession on which she allegedly saved SARs, and a cellphone through which she had communicated with a reporter through an encrypted app.
Prosecutors also alleged Edwards lied about her contact with the reporter and denied speaking with media.
Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting Edwards’ case, said in a statement on Wednesday that Edwards “betrayed her position of trust” by leaking the reporters.
“SARs, which are filed confidentially by banks and other financial institutions to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions, are not public documents, and it is an independent federal crime to disclose them outside of one’s official duties,” Berman said. “We hope today’s charges remind those in positions of trust within government agencies that the unlawful sharing of sensitive documents will not be tolerated and will be met with swift justice by this Office.”
The Trump administration has sought for months to crack down on leakers within the government, dramatically ramping up the amount of Justice Department investigations into leaks.