Former IRS Analyst Pleads Guilty to Leaking Cohen Information to Avenatti - NBC Bay Area
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Former IRS Analyst Pleads Guilty to Leaking Cohen Information to Avenatti

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    A former U.S. Internal Revenue Service analyst will be sentenced by a federal judge in San Francisco on Dec. 18 for leaking confidential financial information about Michael Cohen, a former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, to attorney Michael Avenatti.

    John Fry, 54, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Edward Chen on Wednesday to a felony charge of illegally disclosing suspicious activity reports provided by banks to the government.

    The conviction carries a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison.

    U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Abraham Simmons said Fry admitted during the plea that he gave the confidential information to Avenatti on May 4 and 7, 2018. At the time, Avenatti was representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in defamation lawsuit against Trump.

    On May 8, 2018, Avenatti posted documents online that purported to show large payments from corporations to Cohen's company, Essential Consultants.

    Cohen is now serving a three-year prison sentence for federal crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

    Avenatti is facing criminal charges of stealing from clients and attempted extortion.

    Fry was formerly an investigative analyst with the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in San Francisco. Banks are required to file suspicious activity reports with the U.S. Treasury Department when they handle large financial transactions that could potentially be associated with money laundering or fraud.

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