Myron Fuller served in the FBI for 30 years. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, Fuller is interviewed about his undercover and case agent roles in the case code-named ABSCAM, which was actually a spin-off of Operation Fountain Pen (OPFOPEN), the largest investigation by the FBI conducted into the activities of white-collar criminals (Jim Wedick is interviewed about OPFOPEN in Episode 6). ABSCAM was originally initiated to investigate and penetrate white-collar crime and organized crime targets in the New York area. Specifically, it was begun as an undercover operation to infiltrate a conspiracy involving members of organize crime attempting to purchase businesses, including a mortgage company, for fraudulent and criminal purposes. The sophisticated ABSCAM scenario featured a fictitious wealthy Lebanese businessman who wanted to funnel millions of dollars from the Middle-East into ventures in the United States. Fuller and his undercover partner, agent John Hauss, represented that they worked for a consortium of foreign banks and had access to a $7 Million bank account. The scenario, with the cooperation of con man Mel Weinberg, allowed for the successful investigation and conviction of organized crime figures, con men, and ultimately, corrupt politicians. Fuller retired as the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Honolulu Division.
Karl LNU, who asked that I not use his last name (LNU stands for last name unknown – or in this case unused), was investigated, charged and convicted of bribing corrupt purchasing agents to approve invoices for over-priced and inferior lighting and maintenance supplies. The scam was operated by phone. Karl, his business partner and their employees made telemarketing calls to unsuspecting businesses throughout the United States and ripped them off with the help of their own greedy employees. Karl pled guilty and served time for business to business telemarketing fraud, but his sentence was reduced significantly based on his decision to become a cooperating witness, assisting a multi-agency Group II undercover investigation targeting the business to business telemarketing fraud industry in the Philadelphia area. This was one of my economic crime cases. The investigation, worked in partnership with the U. S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division (IRS-CID), resulted in 16 search warrants and 25 convictions.
Former agent Scott Moritz served with the FBI for nearly ten years. During his time in the Bureau, he focused on white-collar crime, domestic and international corruption and money laundering investigations. While assigned to the New York Division, he was on an Asset Forfeiture Squad where he conducted parallel financial investigations alongside agents working organize crime and drug cases. He was responsible for locating the targets’ assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments and personal property items. Scott is interviewed about an asset forfeiture investigation he worked involving a Long Island waste hauler with ties to New York LCN families. He explains how seized documents revealed the connection between the mob guys, garbage men and illegal asset. Since leaving the FBI, Scott has worked with a variety of organizations, government and regulatory agencies to identify, triage, investigate and remediate a wide variety of risks and complex financial crimes. Currently, he is a global leader for Protiviti Forensic and Managing Director in Protiviti’s New York office.
Retired agent Keith Kelly served with the FBI for twenty-seven years. Keith, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), worked a variety of assignments during his career, including being a member of the New York Division SWAT Team, extensive experience as an undercover agent, following the money trail of international drugs cases and other criminal enterprises involved in distribution and racketeering, and specializing in complex financial and money laundering investigations. His most high-profiled assignment was as the case-agent of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, a 21-person inter-agency investigation into the largest securities fraud case in history. This work resulted in the identification, seizure and forfeiture of more than $8 billion in assets along with the conviction of Bernard Madoff who received a 150-year jail sentence.
Retired agent Bill Grace served more than 33 years with the FBI. He is interviewed about conducting two high-profiled municipal corruption investigations at the same time, one directed at the corrupt activities of Camden, New Jersey Mayor Milton Milan and the other targeting Washington Township, New Jersey Mayor Jerry Luongo. Electronic and physical surveillance indicated that even before Milan entered municipal politics he was associating with a local drug dealer, as well as members of the Philadelphia mob and that he continued those relationships after being elected to City Council and then as mayor. During Milan’s corruption trial, the former head of the Philly mob cooperated and testified against him. The Luongo case was initiated based on a questionable local land deal, but resulted in the mayor being charged with the misuse of the township’s community fund.
This is the second half of a two-part episode with former FBI agent Terry Hake. Terry continues his account of working undercover as a crooked defense attorney in the largest public corruption investigation in America. When the investigation—code named Operation Greylord—was initiated, Terry was a young Assistant State’s Attorney fed up with corruption in the Cook County, Illinois court system. During the investigation, he was hired by the FBI, first as a project development specialist and then as a special agent. In this episode, he also explains why, after being an employee for only seven years, he resigned from the FBI and instead continued his 23-year career in federal law enforcement at several other non-Bureau agencies.
Former FBI agent Terry Hake officially served seven years with the FBI. However, his service to the Bureau, the Department of Justice, and other federal law enforcement agencies actually spanned more than 23 years. Terry is interviewed about working undercover as a crooked defense attorney in the largest public corruption investigation in America. When the investigation—code named Operation Greylord—was initiated, Terry was a young Assistant State’s Attorney fed up with corruption in the Cook County, Illinois court system. He wore a wire for three-and-a-half years fully aware that he could have been jeopardizing his reputation and law career in doing so. At the conclusion of the undercover operation, Terry testified in 23 trials over the next 10 years and eighty-three judges, lawyers, court personnel and policeman were convicted for accepting bribes to fix court cases. Terry has written a book—Operation Greylord: The True Story of an Untrained Undercover Agent and America’s Biggest Corruption Bust— about his experiences and provides an insider’s look into the case.