(CN) – Federal investigators have charged an IRS employee with illegally leaking former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s bank information to Stormy Daniels’ attorney, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
Prosecutors with the Department of Treasury say John C. Fry, an analyst with the IRS, pulled “suspicious activity reports” related to Michael Cohen’s accounts from confidential law enforcement databases and leaked the information to Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, in May 2018.
On May 8, Avenatti posted personal documents related to Cohen and Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, on Twitter. From there, the Washington Post picked up the information, followed by an investigative story by the New Yorker.
Essential Consultants is the company Cohen used to pay porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her affair with President Donald Trump.
The May 8 Washington Post story noted that Avenatti refused to reveal where he received his documentation, saying, “The source or sources of our information is our work product, and nobody’s business … They can investigate all they want, but what they should be doing is releasing to the American public the three Suspicious Activity Reports filed on Michael Cohen’s account.”
According to the criminal complaint, which was filed on Feb. 4, Fry has already verbally confessed to leaking the reports.
The complaint says Fry is an investigative analyst for the Department of Treasury’s criminal investigation division and has worked with the IRS since 2008. Fry’s supervisor said Fry, who is based out of the San Francisco office, had no job-related reason to access Cohen’s suspicious activity reports – which were filed in New York – through the database.
If convicted of unlawfully disclosing suspicious activity reports, Fry faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.