The analyst, John C. Fry, was charged by prosecutors in the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California with the unauthorized disclosure of a document called a suspicious activity report, or SAR, which banks file when they review transactions that raise red flags.
Fry, an investigative analyst with the IRS's law enforcement arm, is accused of turning over the reports in the spring of 2018 to an attorney, Michael Avenatti, and of confirming confidential banking information in them to a reporter for The New Yorker , according to the complaint, which was filed under seal earlier this month.
In May 201
In fact, the SARs that were not available to Fry had been given "restricted access" in the system "because they were related to a sensitive open investigation." At the time, he was investigated by the Manhattan US Attorney's office, which later charged him with eight counts, to which he pleaded guilty.
The bank transactions of Cohen became public last May when Avenatti posted a memo online outlining numerous payments to Cohen from a company linked to a Russian oligarch, pharmaceutical giant Novartis, AT&T, which owns CNN, and others.
Fry's hearing date was pushed back several times as federal prosecutors were engaged with Fry's attorney on plea negotiations, according to a person familiar with the talks. As of Thursday, Fry declined to plead to felony charges in exchange for probation.
As a result, prosecutors will seek an indictment of Fry on February 28, this person said, and are expected to seek two additional charges, including misuse of a Social Security number and misuse of a government computer.
This story is breaking and will be updated.