Treasury employee accused of leaking bank records on Manafort, Gates

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The U.S. has arrested a Treasury Department employee for leaking confidential bank records pertaining to Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, the Russian Embassy and Maria Butina, who's been accused of being a Russian agent.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior adviser at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, was accused of leaking Suspicious Activity Reports to a reporter, who isn't identified. The articles cited by prosecutors were written by journalists at BuzzFeed — the most recent having been published Oct. 15.

BuzzFeed didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the arrest.

Edwards began communicating with the unidentified reporter in July 2017, according to prosecutors. Between October 2017 and January 2018, she saved thousands of FinCEN files, including all the SARs cited in the case.

When she was arrested Tuesday, Edwards had a flash drive on which she apparently saved the SARs, as well as a phone containing communications over an encrypted application in which she transmitted the reports to the reporter, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney in New York.

Edwards confessed to leaking the SARs to the reporter earlier Wednesday when questioned by officials, although she "falsely denied" knowing that the material was going to be published, according to the complaint.

Under the Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions are required to report suspicious transactions to the Treasury. Unauthorized disclosures of SARs is a criminal offense.

Edwards is scheduled to appear in court in Alexandria later today.

Bloomberg News