Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors charged an Internal Revenue Service analyst for leaking confidential bank records belonging to President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, the Department of Justice said Thursday.
John C. Fry, 54, was charged with unlawful disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports for accessing the reports filed by the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The SARs outlined payments made to Cohen and his company, Essential Consultants.
The Department of Justice announcement stated that in May, Fry accessed and downloaded SARs related to Cohen, distributed them to Michael Avenatti -- an attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels -- and confirmed the banking information with an investigative reporter for The New Yorker.
Avenatti made the information public in a memo on May 8, detailing four separate installments of $50,000 paid to Cohen's company by AT&T in late 2017 and early 2018.
The memo also alleges Essential Consultants received payments of $500,000 from a company linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, nearly $400,000 from pharmaceutical giant Novartis and $150,000 from Korea Aerospace Industries after the 2016 presidential election.
Essential Consultants was created in 2016 and was used to funnel a $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels in connection to an alleged affair with Trump, Avenatti's document said.
Fry is set to appear in court for a second time on March 13 after being released on bail for $50,000 and faces a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of $250,000.