A New Kent County woman ordered to report to prison Monday to begin a six-month sentence for giving confidential U.S. Treasury Department documents to a reporter has been granted a delay until Sept. 3 for health reasons.
In an order granted Saturday and entered Monday, U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods of New York allowed Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, 43, to report a month later than initially ordered.
“The defendant should not expect further extensions,” noted the judge, who sentenced Edwards in June.
“I am to report to Alderson Federal Prison Camp, Alderson West VA.,” at noon, wrote Edwards in an email Monday.
Edwards and her supporters say she is a whistleblower and not a leaker. She was a senior adviser in the Intelligence Division of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN.
She shared more than 2,000 FinCEN suspicious activity reports with BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold between October 2017 and October 2018.
The material led last year to the publication of the “FinCEN Files,” a reporting project conducted by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that exposed major, worldwide financial wrongdoing. The reporting led to reforms in the U.S. and around the world.
Last week, Edwards’ lawyer asked Woods to postpone her Aug. 2 prison reporting date until Aug. 31 so she could attend a follow-up visit with a physician at VCU Medical Center. Edwards told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month that she recently underwent surgery.
In a letter to the judge on Friday, prosecutors opposed any indefinite extension to Edwards’ imprisonment. However, the U.S. attorney’s office added, “it would be willing to consent to a modest extension of the surrender date, of a week or two, to permit the defendant to attend further to her medical situation prior to her surrender.”