U.S. Treasury Department Senior Advisor Faces Jail Time for Leak
It’s not too often that SARs advance from the BSA department to the mainstream media, but it happened in a big way this week. On Wednesday, a senior advisor at FinCEN was arrested and charged with leaking confidential bank records involving Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Maria Butina and the Russian Embassy.
Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards was accused of releasing confidential Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to a journalist which resulted in 12 different news stories referencing these SARs starting in October 2017 with the most recent one published in September 2018. One of her bosses is also being questioned.
As you know, SARs are confidential. Anyone outside of the institution’s “need to know” circle are not to know if a SAR has been filed on an individual or entity. Banks are required to inform their board of directors a summary of SARs filed. This can include actual copies of SARs or just a table to detail SARs filed for specific violation types.