A former Internal Revenue Service analyst persuaded a judge not to send him to jail for losing confidential government records on suspicious banking activities by President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.
John C. Fry, who served in the IRS law enforcement agency in San Francisco, pleaded guilty to illegally disclosing records from a Treasury Department database showing that a Cohen affiliate shell company received millions of dollars from multinational corporations who tried to gain access to Trump’s White House and $ 500,000 from a company tied to a Russian oligarch.
After Fry shared the information privately with Michael Avenatti, the California attorney who publicly worked with Trump for months, in 2018, reports of Cohen’s transactions were posted on Twitter, creating a media hype. A federal judge in San Francisco sentenced Fry Wednesday to five years probation and ordered him to pay a $ 5,000 fine.
Fry is the second federal official this week to express remorse to a federal judge for providing unauthorized information to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Information Network (FinCEN) investigating money laundering by examining data on financial transactions.
Read more: Trump’s crackdown on leaks Snares Senior Treasury Official
A senior financial advisor pleaded guilty to providing a journalist with suspicious activity reports from the database involving former Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort and others. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards is due to be tried in federal court in Manhattan on June 9.
Fry “made a one-time mistake in a good life,” wrote attorney Gail Shifman in a lawsuit asking for indulgence from US District Judge Edward Chen.
Prosecutors recommended that 55-year-old Fry spend three months in jail and pay a fine of $ 10,000. They argued in a memo that Fry “put aside his education and experience and committed crimes in violation of the law he had pledged to abide by”.
While Cohen sought a refund of more than $ 14 million from Fry, the government said Cohen had not shown any harm to him or his business. The judge agreed.
The case is US v Fry, 19-0102, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
Before it’s here, it’s in the Bloomberg Terminal.