You might remember back in May 2018 when sketchy porn lawyer Michael Avenetti was releasing U.S. Treasury notifications on Michael Cohen received from an unknown source within the Treasury Department [See Here]. You might also remember when New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow wrote a sympathetic article after talking to the leaking treasury official [See Here]. As a result the Treasury Inspector General began an investigation.
Today, a U.S. Treasury employee named Natalie Mayflower Sours-Edwards was arrested and charged with leaking to numerous reporters multiple financial reports about suspicious financial transactions related to: Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, Maria Butina, and others. [DOJ Notification HERE]
EDWARDS, 40, of Quinton, Virginia, is charged with one count of unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports and one count of conspiracy to make unauthorized disclosures of suspicious activity reports, both of which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the judge. (read more)
Every organization from mortgage providers, to international financial institutions, to local U.S. main street banks, all the way to Western Union and convenience stores who generate money orders, are required to file CTR’s and SAR’s as part of the Treasury Department Banking Secrecy Act; a law requiring anyone engaged in financial services to assist government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering.
At some point every person reading here has likely had a report filled out by a financial provider, submitting their details within a financial transaction, filed with the Treasury department. You never know about it, because it’s part of compliance reporting.
According to the DOJ release Ms. Mayflower Sours-Edwards “was in possession of a flash drive appearing to be the flash drive on which she saved the unlawfully disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports, and a cellphone containing numerous communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted SARs and other sensitive government information to” journalists.
She is charged with unlawfully disclosing financial reports, and conspiracy to do the same. The 40-year-old resistance leaker will face criminal charges in New York.
UPDATE: Located within the indictment documents – there is also a Co-Conspirator. It appears Ms. Sours-Edwards’ boss was also in on the plot to leak the information. [See Page #13 of the indictment]
Ms. Sours-Edwards boss, one of the Associate Directors, was also in contact with journalists and leaking financial information…. Sheesh.
May 19th, 2018 (Via CNN) Investigators on the House intelligence committees have obtained access to valuable data from the Treasury Department, a development that will open their doors to investigate possible connections between President Donald Trump’s business empire and Russians, CNN has learned.
Investigators received access to the financial data this week, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the development.
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee told reporters Thursday that his committee also had gotten the Treasury Department data. (read more)
It is highly likely Ms. Edwards was the Treasury Department source for a myriad of resistance articles written by multiple journalists. Some of the more transparently obvious examples come from Buzzfeed via Jason Leopold, in addition to Ronan Farrow:
October 6th, 2017 – The Treasury Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis has been illegally rifling through and filing away the private financial records of US citizens, Treasury employees alleged. “This is such an invasion of privacy,” said one official. (read more)
October 29th, 2017 – BuzzFeed News has learned of a series of wire transfers, made by companies linked to Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, that federal officials deemed suspicious. Many of the wires went from offshore companies controlled by Manafort to American businesses. (read more)
May 16th, 2018 – Ronan Farrow […] there has been much speculation about who leaked the confidential documents, and the Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched a probe to find the source. That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation. (read more)