John Zasada, Compliance Consulting Director, Financial Institutions Group

On June 3, 2021, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced a former senior advisor with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is going to prison for unlawfully disclosing Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards was sentenced to six months in prison for not maintaining the confidentiality of numerous SARs. The illegally disclosed SARs pertained to Paul Manafort, Richard Gates, the Russian Embassy, Maria Butina and Prevezon Alexander. Ms. Edwards disclosed the SARs to a reporter, who then included facets of the information in the SARs in approximately 12 news articles. Ms. Edwards saved the SARs, along with thousands of other files containing sensitive government information, to a flash drive provided to her by FinCEN. She transmitted the SARs to the reporter in part by taking photos of them and texting the photos to the reporter over an encrypted application.

To learn more about SARs reporting requirements, contact Doeren Mayhew’s regulatory compliance specialists.