Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A former Treasury Department employee pleaded not guilty to charges she leaked confidential financial documents related to former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to a media outlet.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards entered the plea Wednesday for one count of unlawfully disclosing what are known as suspicious activity reports and one count of conspiracy.
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 accused her of providing SARs on Manafort and Gates to a BuzzFeed reporter from 2017 until October, when she was arrested.
SARs are used to alert officials about potentially criminal financial transactions. FinCEN manages the Treasury Department's collection of SARs.
During her court appearance Wednesday, Edwards waived her right to have a grand jury hear her case for a possible indictment, possibly indicating her lawyers are negotiating with prosecutors about a possible deal in the case, avoiding a trial.
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.