This episode of FBI Retired Case File Review 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. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, 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.
Retired Supervisory Special Agent Harry Garcia served in the FBI for 22 years. Throughout most of his Bureau career, Harry, an accountant and a former IRS revenue agent, worked complex financial investigations, including bank fraud and bank failure cases involving public corruption. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Harry Garcia is interviewed about a multiagency Southwest Border Taskforce investigation—code named “Port Sweeper” and “Boiling Point”—initiated in the 1990s that resulted in sentences of life imprisonment and 27 years in prison for the main subjects—two corrupt inspectors assigned to the Calexico border patrol station and the seizure of $1.2 million in cash. Harry points out that the IRS played a significant role in investigating the money laundering violations and determining the illicit net worth increases of corrupt inspectors.
Retired Special Agent Barbara Verica served in the FBI for 30 years. Barbara worked counter-intelligence matters for the first 15 years of her career and investigated economic crimes for the last fifteen. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, she is interviewed about the two years she worked undercover in Manhattan gathering intelligence and the evidence needed to prove that her neighbor, a diplomat for an unidentified foreign country, was selling secrets to the former Soviet Union. She actually befriended the wife of the diplomat and Barbara talks about how difficult it was, at times, to maintain her cover while betraying her “friend.” This case reminds me of the FX TV show The Americans, about two KGB spies posing as a married American couple living next door to a FBI counter-intelligence agent.
Retired Supervisory Special Agent Jim Wedick served in the FBI for nearly 35 years. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Jim talks about his assignment as an undercover agent in the Bureau’s very first long-term undercover investigation. The case, Major Case 1, was captioned OPFOPEN – short for Operation Fountain Pen. The investigation marked a significant shift in FBI priorities and the first time the Bureau operated a sophisticated attack on organized crime networks, financial criminals and con-men using White-Collar Crime violations to prosecute off shore criminal enterprises. The case is the subject of a book, Chasing Phil by David Howard, and will be made in to a feature film. Jim mentions several other notable cases, including bribery case, – dubbed by the California media as “Shrimp Scam” – for which he received the Director’s Award in 1994 and a large Health Care Fraud case he supervised. We acknowledge his wife, retired special agent Nancy Wedick, who teamed up with his on several successful cases.
Jim Fitzgerald, a former FBI profiler, served twenty years with the FBI. Jim is one of the most respected forensic analysts and linguistics experts in the country. In addition to his many “expert” court appearances, Jim is called upon for his expertise by the entertainment and news industries. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews his role in solving the Unabomber case and several other high-profile investigations, as well as his work as a technical consultant on the TV shows Criminal Minds and Sleepy Hollow and regular appearances on CNN for expert commentary on current events. We also chat about his memoir – A Journey to the Center of the Mind: Book 1.
Retired agent Ray Carr served twenty-five years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews his training as a hostage negotiator and profiler in the field and his investigation of Carl Gugasian, one of the most prolific bank robbers ever investigated by the FBI. The case features hidden bunkers containing stashes of cryptic maps, weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and thousands of dollars in cash.