In what could prove the most serious leak prosecution in decades, senior Treasure Department official Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 40, has been charged with leaking information to the news organization, Buzzfeed, that she removed from her work at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). According to the criminal complaint, she was the source of leaked financial information on Paul Manafort, Maria Butina and other suspects charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. While she allegedly first sought to conceal her relationship with a report and denied any contacts with the media, she later claimed to be a whistleblower. That is not likely to help her. She was reportedly found with a drive or memory device containing information in what could prove a lengthy sentence if convicted.
She is accused of releasing “Suspicious Activity Reports” on potentially illegal transactions sent from bank. This included photographing material surreptitiously. One just one day in August she allegedly “exchanged approximately 541 messages” with the reporter via an encrypted app and continued to use the same app to send the documents.
She 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.”