IRS Analyst Charged in Leak of Cohen’s Bank Records to Michael Avenatti

An Internal Revenue Service analyst was charged with disclosing confidential reports about the bank records of Michael Cohen, president Trump’s former personal attorney, to lawyer Michael Avenatti. According to a criminal complaint, John Fry—who worked in the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division—allegedly downloaded several Suspicious Activity Reports (SARS) about Cohen. He’s accused of handing over some of the reports to Avenatti, and he also told a New Yorker journalist that some of Cohen’s SARS were restricted, the complaint says. According to CNN, the SARS showed how Cohen sought to profit from his access to President Trump through the use of a shell company—which had accepted payments from “Russian oligarch, pharmaceutical giant Novartis, AT&T... and others.” The complaint states that Avenatti used the information given by Fry to compile a “dossier” on the payments and posted it on his Twitter page. Fry also allegedly had a 42-minute phone call with reporter Ronan Farrow and exchanged various WhatsApp messages with the journalist, resulting in an article published in May 2018. Fry faces a maximum sentence of five years and a $250,000 fine. His next court date is scheduled for Mar. 13.