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IRS staffer pleads guilty to giving Michael Cohen’s confidential info to Avenatti

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08/16/2019 10:18 AM
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IRS staffer pleads guilty to giving Michael Cohen’s confidential info to Avenatti
Faces max 5 years & up to 250k fine

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An IRS staffer whom authorities accused of leaking confidential financial information about Michael Cohen to Michael Avenatti has pleaded guilty to accessing and distributing that information illegally.

John C. Fry, 54, a former investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the law enforcement arm of the agency, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of unlawful disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), NBC News reports.

Fry admitted in court to handing over Cohen’s confidential financial forms to Michael Avenatti, the ex-attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels who represented her in her lawsuit against President Trump, with whom she claims she had an affair, which Trump has denied.

Fry logged into the IRS’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network twice in May 2018 and downloaded five SARs on Cohen and his company, Essential Consultants.

SARs refer to reports filed by banks when they notice transactions that they view as potentially suspicious.

Fry gave Avenatti that information via cellphone correspondence as well as through emailing him screenshots of the reports.

Within days of Fry leaking the intel, Avenatti publicized the information on Twitter.