Thursday, August 22, 2019
NBC News, IRS Staffer Pleads Guilty to Giving Michael Cohen Data to Stormy Daniels' Lawyer:
An IRS staffer who leaked confidential details about former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's finances to Michael Avenatti, ex-lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally accessing and distributing that information.
John C. Fry was an investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the law enforcement arm of the agency, in May 2018 when he twice logged on to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) database and downloaded five Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) — reports filed by banks when they note potentially suspicious transactions — related to Cohen and his company Essential Consultants.
In court Wednesday, Fry admitted giving Avenatti the information via cellphone and emailing him screenshots of the SARs. He pleaded guilty to one county of unauthorized disclosure of SARs. ...
"Fry was given access to sensitive and powerful government databases including people’s most private financial information and he was given that access to do his job as an investigative analyst," David L. Anderson, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, said. "He decided his politics were more important than his obligation to follow the law. In that, he was mistaken." ...
Fry faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.