A U.S. Internal Revenue Service analyst in San Francisco has been charged in federal court with leaking information about the bank records of Michael Cohen, a former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump.
IRS investigative analyst John Fry, 54, was charged in federal court in San Francisco on Feb. 4 in a criminal complaint filed under seal. The complaint was unsealed Thursday after Fry’s initial appearance before a federal magistrate.
The bank reports of potential suspicious financial activity were posted online on May 8 by Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels in a defamation lawsuit against Trump.
In an affidavit accompanying the complaint, U.S. Treasury Department Special Agent Linda Cieslak alleges that Fry talked to Avenatti by cellphone for six minutes on the day before the posting and exchanged messages with an unidentified news reporter during the following month.
At Thursday’s court appearance, U.S. Magistrate Laurel Beeler granted Fry release on a $50,000 bond. He is due to return to court before a different magistrate on March 13 for a preliminary hearing or arraignment on an indictment if an indictment is issued by that date.
The charge of unauthorized disclosure of bank suspicious activity reports carries a potential sentence of five years in prison if Fry is convicted.
-Julia Cheever, Bay City News