Treasury watchdog probes possible leak of Trump lawyer’s bank transactions

- Mei 09, 2018

The Treasury Department's Inspector General is investigating whether confidential financial information related to President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen might have been leaked, IG spokesman Rich Delmar confirmed Wednesday.

The probe was launched after Michael Avenatti, lawyer to adult film star Stormy Daniels, distributed a document claiming that AT&T, a Russian oligarch and others had contributed to a Cohen bank account for Essential Consultants, the shell company Avenatti said paid money to his client.

Delmar said the inspector general is "inquiring into allegations" that certain suspicious activity reports, which are filed with Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, might have been "improperly disseminated." Delmar said he could not predict how long the investigation would take.

Banks file hundreds of thousands of suspicious activity reports every year, which are meant to alert authorities about transactions that could be related to fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing and other illegal activities.


The transactions detailed by Avenatti included $500,000 in payments from Columbus Nova, a company linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, as well as $200,000 from AT&T and nearly $400,000 from pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Vekselberg was sanctioned last month by the U.S. as punishment for Kremlin meddling in the U.S. election. The company on Tuesday said Vekselberg was not involved in the transactions.


 

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