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Senior Treasury employee charged with leaking documents related to Russia probe




In this photo taken on January 24, 201
7, a man enters the Treasury building in Washington, DC [Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images]

A senior Treasury official was arrested on Wednesday with confidential government reports of suspicious financial transactions related to (19659006) The prosecution reflects Trump's recent attempt to resolve disputes within the government. Earlier this week, a former Senate employee pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in a separate leak investigation.

The Treasury case focuses on a dozen stories published by Buzzfeed News that describe suspicious activity reports or SARs banks when a financial transaction may involve illegal activity.

The prosecution has indicted Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards with unauthorized disclosure of suspicious activity reports and conspiracies. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York, but she is said to have her first appearance in Northern Virginia, officials said.

Edwards, 40, works as Senior Advisor to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury Department on "FinCEN."

Geoffrey S. Berman, US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said Edwards "betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information."

The stories cited in the lawsuit filed against Edwards adjust the headlines, wording, and information contained in Buzzfeed news stories, though the court papers did not identify the company by name. These stories often centered on suspicious activity reports relating to key figures in the investigation conducted by Special Adviser Robert S. Mueller III, including former Trump Electoral Board member Paul Manafort, Russian diplomats, and other Trump employees.

The last such story was released on Monday, again largely from reports by SARs.

Approximately 2 million suspicious activity reports were submitted in 2017 by banks, cash services companies, casinos and others, according to FinCEN. Alone suspicious activity reports do not mean much. But along with other evidence, they can lead investigators to certain transactions that could involve financial crimes.

The 18-page criminal complaint describes a search for Edward's phone and a flash drive on which FBI agents say they have found a lengthy digital trail of their interactions with the reporters, in which they shared SARS reports.

"The majority of the files were stored in a folder on the flash drive titled 'Debacle – Operation – CF' and subfolders named as' Debacle Emails Asshat ',' the Complaint stated. "It is not known that Edwards is involved in any official FinCEN project or assignment with these file titles or codenames."

The flash drive files seem to contain thousands of SARs and other highly sensitive information about Russia and Iran, and the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, "the indictment.

Agents questioned Edwards on Tuesday, she initially denied having contacts with the reporter whose name appears on the disputed stories then "changed her account and admitted that she on several occasions retrieved SARs on her computer, photographed them and took these photos According to the complaint with an encrypted application on her mobile phone.

Edwards called himself a whistleblower in the interview, but added while she had previously submitted a whistleblower complaint related to her work that did not involve the disclosure of SARs.

The c Our documents also show that the FBI is one of the chiefs of Edwards, an associate director of FinCEN, noted that this person had exchanged 325 text messages with the reporter in question during the month in which the first story appeared.

A FinCEN spokesman said Edwards was on vacation. He did not respond to a question about the status of the deputy director mentioned in the indictment.

A BuzzFeed spokesman declined to comment.


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