An Internal Revenue Service analyst was charged Thursday for leaking confidential records about Michael Cohen’s bank account last year.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California filed charges against the analyst, John Fry, for the disclosure of a suspicious activity report, which banks file on possible illegal transactions. That leak revealed that Cohen, a former lawyer to President Donald Trump, appeared to be accepting payments from organizations seeking to influence the White House.
Cohen’s transactions came to light when Michael Avenatti, the lawyer of an adult film star suing Trump, posted the bank report on Twitter ― an action that experts said could be illegal in its own right. According to Thursday’s charges, Fry used his work computer to search the IRS database for records related to Cohen and then made a six-minute phone call to Avenatti.
The court filing also states Fry reached out to reporters following the database search.
The documents revealed that a shell company Cohen set up to pay off Avenatti’s client Stormy Daniels had also received payments from AT&T, the pharmaceutical company Novartis and Columbus Nova, a U.S. investment firm with ties to a Russian oligarch.
Cohen was sentenced in December to three years in prison for various financial crimes. He is set to start serving time in May.