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Former FinCEN staffer pleads guilty to conspiring to disclose SARs
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced yesterday that Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a//k/a "Natalie Sours," "Natalie May Edwards," or "Natalie Edwards," a former senior adviser at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), pled guilty yesterday to conspiring to unlawfully disclose SARs.
Beginning in approximately October 2017, and lasting until her arrest in October 2018, Edwards unlawfully disclosed numerous SARs to a reporter, the substance of which were published over the course of approximately 12 articles by a news organization for which the reporter worked. The illegally disclosed SARs pertained to, among other things, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, the Russian Embassy, Mariia Butina, and Prevezon Alexander. Edwards had access to each of the pertinent SARs and saved them – along with thousands of other files containing sensitive government information – to a flash drive provided to her by FinCEN. In addition to disseminating SARs to the reporter, Edwards sent or described to the reporter internal FinCEN emails or correspondence appearing to relate to SARs or other information protected by the BSA, and FinCEN nonpublic memoranda, including investigative memos and intelligence assessments published by the FinCEN Intelligence Division, which contained confidential personal information, business information, and/or security threat assessments.
Edwards pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to unlawfully disclose SARs, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.