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Sr Treasury official caught w/ a flash drive, arrested over leak of 'Suspicious Activity Reports

• Daily Mail

*Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards faces charges for allegedly leaking sensitive banking documents to a reporter

*Court documents don't name the news outlet but describe a series of articles whose headlines match those published by BuzzFeed 

*The files, called 'Suspicious Activity Reports' (SARs) are sent by banks to the federal government when they notice potential criminal money transfers

*Edwards is accused of leaking SARs related to Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Maria Butina and Russia's embassy in Washington

*They were all targets of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe 

*Edwards was found with a thumb drive full of the documents when she was arrested but denied having any relationship with reporters

*Two felony charges could add up to 10 years in prison 

The Justice Department have charged a Treasury Department employee with giving a reporter confidential banking reports tied to Paul Manafort, Maria Butina and other suspects charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Federal prosecutors say Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards will appear in court Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia.

Edwards, 40, is a senior official at Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). She's accused of leaking the material to a journalist who was not named in the criminal complaint.

She tried to 'conceal her relationship' with the reporter on Tuesday and 'denied having any contacts with the news media' when FBI agents first interviewed her, according to court documents that also reveal she ultimately confessed.

But they say Edwards claimed to be a 'whistle-blower' who sent the documents to a reporter for 'record-keeping.' Although she has previously filed a whistle-blower complaint with the Treasury Department, agents determined that it was unrelated to the document leaks.

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