IRS analyst charged with leaking Michael Cohen’s financial docsFebruary 22, 2019
Federal prosecutors in California on Thursday charged IRS analyst John Fry with leaking suspicious activity reports about Michael Cohen to Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer Michael Avenatti.
Avenatti published the reports — known as SARs — on Twitter in May, revealing that Cohen had set up a shell company called Essential Consultants to collect payments from corporations looking for “insights into understanding the new administration.”
Treasury Department investigators charged that Fry downloaded five SARS on Cohen, and that phone records showed he then immediately made a pair of phone calls to a number for Avenatti shortly before the document was posted on Twitter.
Cohen used the same company to make a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, who alleged that she had a one-night stand with Donald Trump in 2006 when his wife Melania was home with their infant son. The president denies the fling.
Fry was charged earlier this month with the unauthorized disclosure of the SARs but the criminal complaint remained sealed until Thursday.
The companies that paid Cohen included AT&T, Novartis and Columbus Nova, a US investment firm with ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.
The feds said that Fry, who has worked for the IRS in its San Francisco office since 2008, searched Cohen’s records in New York — even though his supervisors told investigators that he had no business searching for Cohen’s documents or any others in New York.
The criminal complaint also said that phone records showed that Fry had conversations with New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow, who then wrote about Cohen’s finances.
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