Treasury official arrested for leaking Manafort, Gates documents

By Danielle Haynes

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials in Virginia arrested a senior Treasury Department employee Wednesday on allegations she leaked financial documents related to former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to a media outlet.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards appeared in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia on Wednesday to face charges of unlawfully disclosing what are known as suspicious activity reports and conspiracy. The judge released her on $100,000 bond, and ordered her not to be in contact with an unidentified co-conspirator and the reporter to whom she allegedly leaked the information.


The 40-year-old Quinton, Va., resident worked for the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN. A complaint filed in New York City accuses her of providing SARS on Manafort and Gates to the reporter from 2017 until earlier this month.

Though the reporter and the news organization for which the reporter works were not identified in the complaint against Edwards, prosecutors cited articles published by BuzzFeed.

SARS are used to alert officials about potentially criminal financial transactions. FinCEN manages the Treasury Department's collection of SARS, CNBC reported.


"Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior-level FinCEN employee, allegedly betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information contained in suspicious activity reports to an individual not authorized to receive them," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said of the complaint.

Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, was found guilty in August on eight counts in a bank fraud trial stemming from the Russian election meddling investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. In September, Manafort pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the probe on a second indictment concerning money laundering charges.

He has yet to be sentenced.

Gates, Manafort's former business associate, pleaded guilty in February to lying to the FBI and defrauding the U.S. government, charges also stemming from the Mueller probe.

The two were accused of lying to banks about their business income in order to secure more than $20 million in loans. Prosecutors also said they passed the money they received from lobbying in Ukraine through foreign bank accounts to conceal it from the Internal Revenue Service.


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