Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Former FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Pleads Guilty to Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2016

Former FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Pleads Guilty to Perjury and Obstruction of Justice

BOSTON – Robert Fitzpatrick, former Assistant Special Agent in Charge (“ASAC”) of the FBI’s Boston Office, has pleaded guilty to 12 counts of an indictment charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with his testimony at the 2013 trial of James “Whitey” Bulger.
Fitzpatrick, in his capacity as ASAC of the Boston Division, had overall supervisory responsibility of the organized crime program in Boston between 1981 and 1986—a time period in which Bulger, while an active FBI informant, was involved in eight murders. 

Fitzpatrick, 76, of Charlestown, R.I., who is the author of Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought To Bring Him Down, was called to testify at the Bulger trial on July 29 and July 30, 2013.  In pleading guilty, Fitzpatrick admitted that he lied when he testified at Bulger’s trial that he tried to end Bulger’s relationship with the FBI and target Bulger for prosecution but was overruled by higher authorities in the FBI.   

Specifically, Fitzpatrick admitted that contrary to his sworn testimony at the Bulger trial:

  1. his assignment to Boston in 1980 as ASAC was not a special mission ordered by the Assistant Director of the FBI because there were problems in the office, but rather a routine reassignment;
  2. Bulger never said, “I’m not an informant” or otherwise denied being an informant when he met with Fitzpatrick;
  3. Fitzpatrick never tried to close Bulger as an FBI informant;
  4. Fitzpatrick was demoted from ASAC because he falsified official FBI reports in connection with a shooting incident, not because he reported corruption;
  5. Fitzpatrick did not arrest mob boss Gennaro Angiulo; and
  6. Fitzpatrick did not find or recover the rifle James Earl Ray used to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN in 1968.

“Mr. Fitzpatrick’s plea of guilty on all counts makes clear that there are consequences to lying in federal court.  In this case, the fact that the defendant was a high-ranking former law enforcement official, who falsely held himself out as a whistleblower who tried to end the FBI’s corrupt relationship with Bulger, made his conduct even more egregious,”  U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said.

“For a former senior FBI official to lie under oath while testifying in a prosecution related to the FBI’s corrupt relationship with a violent criminal is egregious and can erode the public’s trust in the judicial system,” said Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s New York Field Office.  “When allegations of this kind arise, it is critical that they be fully investigated so the public and juries can have confidence that when witnesses take the stand, they are fully aware of the stakes for not telling the truth.”

U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV took the plea agreement under advisement and set sentencing for August 5th.  If Judge Saylor accepts the plea agreement, he must sentence Fitzpatrick to 24 months’ probation, a fine of $12,500 and a special assessment of $1,200.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz and Special Agent in Charge Gardella made the announcement today.  This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary R. Hafer and Fred M. Wyshak of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.
 
Topic: 
Public Corruption
 
Updated May 9, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of Drug Proceeds and Obstruction of Justice

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 2, 2016

Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of Drug Proceeds and Obstruction of Justice

A former FBI special agent pleaded guilty today for stealing over $136,000 of drug proceeds seized during the execution of search warrants in 2014 and falsifying reports and tampering with a witness.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Angel D. Gunn of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

Scott M. Bowman, 45, of Moreno Valley, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conversion of property by a federal employee, one count of obstruction of justice, one count of falsification of records and one count of witness tampering before U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the Central District of California.  Sentencing is set for Aug. 15.

In connection with his plea, Bowman admitted that he misappropriated drug proceeds seized during the execution of three search warrants in June and August 2014, after they were transferred to his custody in his official capacity as a federal law enforcement officer.  Bowman then spent the stolen money for his own personal use, including by spending $43,850 to purchase a 2012 Dodge Challenger coupe, $27,500 to purchase a 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S coupe and $26,612 to outfit these vehicles with new speakers, rims, tires and other equipment.  Bowman also admitted that he used $15,000 of the misappropriated cash to pay for cosmetic surgery for his spouse and opened a new checking account into which he deposited $10,665 of the stolen funds.

In order to conceal his embezzlement, Bowman falsified official FBI reports, submitted a receipt with a forged signature and asked a local police detective to provide false information to law enforcement officers if asked about Bowman’s activities with respect to the drug proceeds.  Specifically, Bowman sent emails to the local police detective in October 2014 containing a detailed cover story that the detective was instructed to provide and a copy of the receipt with the forged signature, so that the detective could falsely claim the forged signature as his own.

“When the FBI became aware of allegations of misconduct by defendant Bowman, FBI management took immediate action by contacting the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General,” said Acting Assistant Director in Charge James Struyk of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.  “As Mr. Bowman takes responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, the public should be reminded that FBI personnel are held to the highest standards and misconduct of any kind is taken very seriously.”

This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. 
 
16-521
Updated May 2, 2016

Saturday, August 1, 2015

FBI-DOJ Culture, Murders, and Catastrophic Events

This page is about FBI agents in the Boston and New York offices that were involved with organized crime and Mafia bosses in serial murders, the criminal culture in the FBI and other Department of Justice offices that covered up, and how the scheme by DOJ personnel to cover up for the FBI murders required withholding information on several planned terrorist attacks that eventually occurred, with the deaths of nearly 4,000 people. It also shows the many notices sent to people in government positions that failed to respond, even though the notices were sent by an insider with unprecedented backgrounds and credibility.
 
The charges were of such gravity, and if true, would continue to result in great harm, deaths, and catastrophic events, including further terrorist successes. For so many to refuse to respond indicated that the major scandal in the system was already known throughout the system.
 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ex-FBI agent who stole heroin sentenced to 3 years in prison

A onetime FBI agent who fed his drug addiction by stealing heroin seized as evidence in criminal cases was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison, a punishment far less than prosecutors and other law enforcement authorities sought.

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected Matthew Lowry’s plea for home detention, noting that the misconduct tainted investigations and forced prosecutors to dismiss cases against 28 drug defendants, 25 of whom had pleaded guilty and were freed from incarceration.

But the judge called Lowry’s addiction a mitigating factor that justified departing from sentencing guidelines that recommended a sentence of seven to nine years. Hogan noted that Lowry took heroin not “to play around” but after he had become dependent on prescription pain medication used to treat a painful intestinal inflammation.

More:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/ex-fbi-agent-who-stole-heroin-sentenced-to-3-years-in-prison/2015/07/09/5bd82e8c-262c-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html

NOTE:  Ever notice that federal agents prosecuted and convicted are always referred to by the media as EX-agents when their crimes were committed while on active duty and they didn't lose their jobs until charges were brought?  And, wow, addiction is a mitigating factor for this guy and he only gets a 3-year sentence?  How's that compare to someone who hadn't worked for the FBI and was brought up on similar charges?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The FBI is operating a small air force to spy on Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department's inspector general.

"The FBI's aviation program is not secret," spokesman Christopher Allen said in a statement. "Specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes." Allen added that the FBI's planes "are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance."

But the planes can capture video of unrelated criminal activity on the ground that could be handed over for prosecutions.

Some of the aircraft can also be equipped with technology that can identify thousands of people below through the cellphones they carry, even if they're not making a call or in public. Officials said that practice, which mimics cell towers and gets phones to reveal basic subscriber information, is rare.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-fbi-is-reportedly-operating-a-small-air-force-to-monitor-americans-2015-6#ixzz3c8hAquxG

Former FBI Special Agent Indicted for Theft of Drug Proceeds and Obstruction of Justice

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 4, 2015
 
Former FBI Special Agent Indicted for Theft of Drug Proceeds and Obstruction of Justice
 
A former special agent of the FBI was indicted yesterday for allegedly stealing over $100,000 of drug proceeds seized during the execution of search warrants and obstructing justice by taking steps to hide his alleged theft.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Angel D. Gunn of the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

“As alleged, former Agent Bowman put his own greed above the trust placed in him by the FBI and the American public,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Corrupt law enforcement agents not only compromise those investigations in which they are involved, but also damage the reputations of fellow law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public service and the protection of all Americans.”

Scott M. Bowman, 44, of Moreno Valley, California, was charged in the Central District of California with three counts of conversion of property by a federal employee, three counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of money laundering, one count of falsification of records and one count of witness tampering.

According to allegations in the indictment, which was unsealed today, Bowman misappropriated over $100,000 of drug proceeds seized in June and August 2014 during the execution of three search warrants.  The defendant allegedly misappropriated these funds after they were transferred to his custody in his official capacity as a federal law enforcement officer.

The indictment alleges that Bowman used the stolen money for his own purposes, including spending $43,850 in cash to purchase a 2012 Dodge Challenger coupe, $27,500 in cash to purchase a 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S coupe and approximately $26,612 in cash to outfit these vehicles with new equipment including speakers, rims and tires.  According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendant also used approximately $15,000 of the misappropriated cash to pay for cosmetic surgery for his spouse, and opened a checking account into which he deposited approximately $10,665 of the stolen funds, a portion of which he used to pay for a weekend stay at a luxury hotel, casino and resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to the indictment, to conceal his misappropriation of the drug proceeds, Bowman allegedly falsified official FBI reports and other records.  Specifically, in connection with one of the seizures, Bowman allegedly endorsed an evidence receipt knowing that it did not accurately reflect the amount of cash seized and altered the same receipt by forging the signature of a police detective next to his own.

The indictment further alleges that Bowman made false representations to his colleagues regarding the disposition of certain seized drug proceeds.  In addition, Bowman allegedly sent an email to the detective whose signature Bowman had forged setting forth a detailed cover story that the detective should offer if asked about Bowman’s activities with respect to the seized drug proceeds.  According to the indictment, Bowman also allegedly provided the detective with a copy of the forged receipt so that the detective falsely could claim the forged signature as his own, if asked.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Robert J. Heberle and Lauren Bell of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

Bowman Indictment
 
15-710
Public Corruption
 
Updated June 4, 2015
 
 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Report: FBI broke internal rules for Keystone XL protesters

The FBI has broken internal rules in investigating activists opposed to the Keystone XL oil pipeline, according to a report.

The Houston field office investigated Keystone protesters between 2012 and 2014, but did not get necessary approval from office attorneys, as is required by protocol for probes involving controversial political matters, the Guardian reported Tuesday.

Documents obtained by the Guardian through public records requests also show details about how the FBI dealt with Keystone opponents. The files emphasize the benefits of the proposed pipeline and refer to its opponents as “environmental extremists.”
 
FBI agents gathered inside information about upcoming protests, recording identities of people photographing oil infrastructure and established at least one confidential informant with intimate knowledge of protesters’ plans.

They focused on Tar Sands Blockade, an activist group focused in the Houston area, where Keystone XL is planned to end, bringing oil sands from Canada through the middle of the United States.

The actions were, at least initially, in “substantial non-compliance” with rules on controversial political matters, the FBI admitted to the Guardian.

Ron Seifert, an organizer for the group, told the Guardian multiple activists had been arrested, but none were accused of violent crimes or property destruction.

The FBI defended its actions to the Guardian and said that it worked quickly to get the necessary approvals and report the non-compliance to the correct authorities.

It said it was compelled to “take the initiative to secure and protect activities and entities which may be targeted for terrorism or espionage.”

Source:  http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/241710-fbi-broke-internal-rules-for-keystone-xl-protesters