Episode 024: Terry Hake – Operation Greylord Judicial Corruption (Part 1)

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 his undercover role as a crooked defense attorney in the largest judicial corruption investigation in America, code named Operation Greylord.

When the investigation 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 police officer 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 judicial corruption case.

Terrence Hake

Special Agent (Former)

2/2/81 – 2/1/88

FullSizeRender (8)







The following are links to news articles about Operation Greylord, along with an overview of the judicial corruption case found on the FBI website:

Investigations of Public Corruption Rooting Crookedness Out of Government

22 More Indicted In Greylord

Operation Greylord Winds Down

Operation Greylord Documentary (Video)

Check out another FBI Retired Case File Review episode featuring judicial corruption:

Episode 216: Joe Robuck – DUI Ticket-Fixing, Bribery

FullSizeRender (10)
The Cook County Courthouse where Terry passed bribes to judges through bagmen. In the last judicial corruption trial, a judge was convicted of fixing three murders cases. A first in the United States.









This is the “mini” recording device Terry used to record his conversations with judges, other lawyers, and bagmen during Operation Greylord. It was approximately the size of a thick iPhone. Interesting trivia: Nagra means “[it] will record” in Polish.











FullSizeRender (9)
Terry was sworn in as a special agent in a garage while still working undercover with Operation Greylord.








Terry’s true crime book about judicial corruption, Operation Greylord: The True Story of an Untrained Undercover Agent and America’s Biggest Corruption Bust can be purchased here and at other local and online bookstores.















Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Malcare WordPress Security