Ex-Treasury official sentenced to 6 months in prison in leak case
A former U.S. Treasury Department worker was sentenced to six months in prison Thursday for leaking confidential financial reports to a journalist at BuzzFeed.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge, admitting she leaked banking reports, including some related to people being investigated in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of foreign interference in U.S. elections.
The government said the material leaked for more than a year included reports on Paul Manafort, former President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, along with a woman charged with trying to infiltrate U.S. political organizations as a covert Russian agent.
U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods gave Edwards, who was arrested in 2018, a sentence at the top of the federal sentencing guidelines range, The AP reported.
Woods called her actions "illegal and wrong" and said they "made our country less safe."
Prosecutors had requested "serious punishment" for Edwards, saying she had betrayed the public and risked hindering ongoing and future investigations. Defense lawyers urged a sentence of time served.
Edwards worked for multiple federal government agencies before serving as senior adviser to the head of the Intelligence Division at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department responsible for safeguarding the nation's financial system.
Prosecutors said she leaked over 2,000 confidential suspicious activity reports and more than 50,000 documents in all. Banks are required to file suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department when they spot transactions that raise questions about possible financial misconduct such as money laundering.