Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced Wednesday that Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards - a senior adviser at the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network - is accused of unlawfully disclosing suspicious activity reports and conspiring to do so.
"We hope today's charges remind those in positions of trust within government agencies that the unlawful sharing of sensitive documents will not be tolerated and will be met with swift justice by this Office", Berman said in a statement.
According to the official complaint, Edwards "unlawfully disclosed numerous SARs to a reporter ('Reporter-1'), the substance of which were published over the course of about 12 articles by a news organization for which Reporter-1 wrote ('News Organization-1')".
BuzzFeed's reporting contained detailed information drawn from Suspicious Activity Reports.
The arrest underscored the Trump administration's intensifying fight against leaks. But, the complaint says, she "falsely denied" knowing that the reporter meant to publish the information.
Mr. Trump past year demanded that the Justice Department take tougher action on leakers, and Mr. Sessions responded by vowing to increase prosecutions.
The Justice Department has arrested a Treasury employee for leaking sensitive information to the media.
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The most recent article appeared on Monday and centered on a loan made by TD Bank to Prevezon, citing records uncovered by FinCEN in connection with investigations by Congress and Mueller. Although Mr. Wolfe was not accused of leaking information to the press, he was snared in the FBI's investigation of the disclosure of confidential information related to Trump campaign figure Carter Page. Media reports falsely insinuated that prosecutors had accused Butina of trading sex for favors, eventually admitting they were "mistaken" in interpreting her text messages.
Edwards also had in her possession a thumb drive containing copies of thousands of so-called SARs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. "Edwards is not known to be involved in any official. project or task bearing these file titles or code names".
A US Treasury official has been arrested for leaking secret reports to Buzzfeed on money transfers involving key figures in the Russian Federation election meddling probe, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Willful disclosure of a SAR or its contents by government employees outside of the scope of their work is a felony.
The complaint says Edwards "falsely denied knowing that [the reporter] meant to or did publish" the information she provided.
The Russian government says she is a political prisoner. Each charge can be punished with five years of prison maximum.
Edwards, 40, was arrested on Tuesday and arraigned on Wednesday in federal court in Virginia.
The judge set several conditions for Edwards's release, including barring her from contact with the reporter referred to in the criminal complaint or any FinCEN employee outside the presence of her lawyer.