The IRS analyst was charged with Michael Cohen's bankruptcy clearance
The analyst, John C. Fry, has been charged with unauthorized disclosure of a document called "Suspicious Activity Report" that banks submit when reviewing transactions involving red flags that leak confidential reports related to Cohen's banking activities last year.
Fry, an investigator for the IRS law enforcement arm, is accused of handing over the reports to a lawyer, Michael Avenatti, in the spring of 2018 and confirming bank confidential information in a reporter for The New Yorker. According to the complaint, which was placed under seal earlier in the month.
On Thursday, Fry appeared before US Justice Laurel Beeler in federal court in San Francisco, as the US Attorney for the Northern District of California fined Fry and was released for a loan of $ 50,000.
In May 201
8, Fry, who works at the IRS San Francisco office, downed and downloaded five suspicious activity reports related to Cohen, the lawsuit alleges. These reports included information about a bank account opened for Essential Consultants LLC, a Cohen-based cloak company, and detailed "numerous suspicious payments" from a company affiliated with a Russian oligarch, the pharmaceutical company Novartis, AT & T, CNN belongs, is connected, and others.
Another report contained information on the $ 130,000 that Cohen had paid to Avenatti's client, the adult actress, Stormy Daniels, in an attempt to silence her allegations of an affair with Trump. (Trump denies having an affair with Daniels.)
Another "Disputed Company on Possible Fraudulent and Illegal Financial Transactions" by Cohen in 2016 and 2017 in Singapore, Hungary, Malaysia, Canada, Taiwan, Kenya and Israel , so the lawsuit.
About 20 minutes after Fry started to access the reports, he made two phone calls to a number related to Avenatti, the lawsuit said. Shortly thereafter, Fry attempted to access two other Cohen-related suspicious activity reports that the system told him "not available."
According to the complaint, a few days later, Fry called Avenatti again, and Avenatti then used "his public Twitter account to circulate a dossier in which confidential bank data relating to Cohen and his Essential Consultants was published."
Fry also called a reporter at The New Yorker who was not mentioned in the lawsuit, but appeared to be due to the description of the reporter Ronan Farrow's work. After weeks of WhatsApp messages between Fry and the reporter, Farrow published a story quoted as a "law enforcement officer" responsible for the leak of Cohen's banking data. He said he did so because he was worried that he could not find two of the reports on Cohen.
In fact, the complaint states that the reports of suspicious activity not available to Fry were in the "restricted access" system because they were linked to a sensitive open investigation. "At the time, Cohen was investigated by the Manhattan law firm in the US, which later charged him with eight charges for which he pleaded guilty.
In recent weeks, Fry's hearing date has been postponed several times when prosecutors were busy Fry's attorney for plea bargaining, according to a person familiar with the talks, declined to file crimes on behalf of the probation service on Thursday.
The prosecution will then file a lawsuit against Fry on February 28, she said Person, and it is expected that she will face two more charges, abuse of a social security number and abuse of a government computer.
Fry, according to the US law firm, is to be sentenced to preliminary hearing or indictment on March 13.