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Posts: 8,842
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FBI informants who caused mayhem on the side
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9:16 a.m., March 1, 2003

BOSTON – Here are 11 dangerous criminals who received a measure of protection from the FBI while serving as informants. Most informed in organized crime or political corruption cases, but a few were involved in highly political cases in the turbulent 1960s.

Details are drawn from interviews, court records and published reports.



He was a sheriff's investigator in Cook County, Ill., who joined the mob and rose to become right-hand man to Chicago boss Sam Giancana. Cain was convicted of conspiracy in a robbery and sentenced to 10 years in prison. An FBI informant who helped solve that crime was murdered after Cain helped unmask him. Nevertheless, Cain was later recruited as an FBI informant.

"We had been turning a blind eye on his machinations as he tried to take over gambling in Chicago. What an ambition! The deal was that we would not focus on his activity if he spun off his competitors to us," Cain's FBI handler, William Roemer, wrote in his book, "Accardo: The Genuine Godfather."

While informing for Roemer, who is now dead, Cain became a suspect in a 1972 gangland killing. Roemer said he initially dropped the informant, but Cain wasn't prosecuted and soon went back to informing for Roemer.

Cain was killed in an apparent mob hit in 1973. Years later, Roemer remembered him as "one of my closest friends."



He was both a Colombo family mob captain in New York City and longtime FBI informant. Scarpa sided with mob boss Carmine Persico in the early 1990s in a war to put down a family mutiny. Authorities came to suspect that Scarpa, while acting as an informant, took part in as many as 13 murders by the Persico side.

Hearing of one Scarpa murder, handler Lindley DeVecchio slapped a desk and declared triumphantly, "We're going to win this thing!" another agent later testified. Government prosecutors later conceded that evidence suggested DeVecchio leaked information to Scarpa, including names of enemies cooperating with the FBI. DeVecchio later said FBI supervisors knew of the murder suspicions but let him keep using the informant.

Scarpa eventually pleaded guilty to committing three of the murders and playing a role in others.



A swindler who was sentenced to 13 years for fraud in 1979, he was also suspected in at least five murders dating back to the early 1970s. Authorities believed the killings were Burnett's way of eliminating witnesses to his scams. Nevertheless, he was enlisted as an informant in FBI stings on corrupt public officials in Chicago and New York in the 1980s.

Florida police who wanted to talk to Burnett about murders say the FBI isolated him while he worked as an informant. Later, he was charged with a 1975 murder, but the case collapsed when a witness recanted. He was finally sentenced to life in prison for plotting the 1994 murder of a witness set to testify against him in a bank fraud case.

The prosecutor, Margaret Giordano, assistant U.S. attorney in the New York borough of Brooklyn, calls Burnett "a serial killer in the true sense of the word – except he is motivated by greed." She says the FBI was aware of the murder suspicions during his years as an informant.



He rose to become a lieutenant in the Chicago mob and later admitted in court to killing six men. Faced with racketeering accusations, he agreed in 1989 to become an FBI informant, wearing a wire to a meeting with Chicago mob boss Gus Alex. Paid $7,200 over two months as an informant, Patrick kept working as a mob leader, according to FBI handler Roemer.

Patrick testified against Alex in 1992 and helped send him to prison. Once asked in court about suspicions he had killed more than the six victims he acknowledged, Patrick replied in a raspy voice, "No, I've run out of cemeteries." Patrick later joined the federal Witness Protection Program.



Boston mobster Bulger worked as an FBI informant throughout the 1980s, and Flemmi, his top lieutenant, did so off and on from 1965 to 1990.

Much of the information they provided was about Boston's Angiulo crime family, which was virtually wiped out in a series of criminal cases brought by Boston-based FBI agents. As the Angiulos lost their grip, Bulger and Flemmi took over control of loan-sharking, gambling and other rackets in greater Boston.

According to court testimony, Boston FBI agents were aware of many of Bulger and Flemmi's crimes, including murders, but looked the other way, occasionally even tipping them off when state police or other agencies were on their trail. According to testimony, Bulger also bribed FBI agents while working as an informant.

Flemmi is now serving 10 years for obstruction of justice and other offenses and awaiting trial on a federal racketeering case. Bulger, a fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list, is also under indictment on racketeering charges.

Prosecutors blame the two gangsters for 18 murders, 11 committed while Bulger was working as an FBI informant.



Stephen's younger brother, Jimmy was recruited as an FBI informant in 1965, even though the bureau knew his goal was to become Boston's top hitman. He is believed to have killed at least eight people.

FBI documents show that Boston agents allowed innocent men to go to prison for one of the murders they knew their informant had committed. Flemmi died in prison in 1979 after Massachusetts authorities convicted him of attempted murder in another case.



During the social tumult of the late 1960s and early '70s, then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover identified the Black Panthers as the single greatest threat to the internal security of the country. In 1969, two leaders of the Panthers were killed at the University of California. Two brothers, George and Larry Stiner, members of a rival black nationalist group, the United Slaves, were convicted of conspiracy to commit the murders and were sentenced to life in prison. Both were FBI informants at the time of the murders, according to former agent Wesley Swearingen, who worked in the Los Angeles office.

Subsequently, a May 26, 1970, FBI memo obtained by a congressional committee disclosed that Los Angeles agents had laid a plan to secretly advise the United Slaves of the time and location of Black Panther events "in order that the two organizations might be brought together and thus grant nature the opportunity to take her due course."

The Stiners escaped from San Quentin in 1974. Larry Stiner turned himself in 19 years later; his brother George remains at large.



In the 1960s, Rowe was an FBI informant who helped convict three Ku Klux Klan members of federal rights violations in the killing of a civil rights volunteer in Alabama. The state charged Rowe with the murder, but the case was dropped after the federal government said his work as an informant gave him immunity.

He admitted to congressional investigators that he had beaten blacks, with the permission of his FBI handlers, in order to maintain his credibility with Klansmen. He said agents told him: "We know it's something you have to do, and we understand it, and we need the information."

After five years as an FBI informant, Rowe went into the federal Witness Protection Program. He died of a heart attack in 1998.



A roughneck from rural Kentucky, Foley first killed in 1976, shooting a man who called him a name. He was given a 35-year sentence but won parole in four years. In 1991, he was again in legal trouble on forgery and weapons counts. However, an FBI agent went before an Ohio judge and helped Foley gain release to work for the bureau as an informant.

Eight months later, while helping the FBI, he shot two brothers to death after a fist fight during a party at his home, pumping a total of 12 rounds into them. Eventually, he was convicted of those two murders and four others that took place in 1989 – the first for informing on him to his parole officer and the three others because they were witnesses. The family of the two brothers eventually sued the FBI for $12 million, saying it was responsible for their murders.

The bureau acknowledged that it broke its own rules in handling Foley, but it argued it could not foresee the murders and Foley wasn't technically an employee. A judge dismissed the suit. The bureau said several agents were "mildly sanctioned." Foley has claimed he was framed for all the murders and remains on death row in Kentucky.


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Reply with quote  #2 

Vol. 2 No. 11 (November, 1992) pp. 187-188

CLOAK AND GAVEL: FBI WIRETAPS, BUGS, INFORMERS, AND THE SUPREME COURT by Alexander Charns. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois, 1992. 206 pp. Cloth $24.95.

Reviewed by David M. O'Brien, Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia.

This engaging and often disturbing book sheds new light on the illegal and unethical activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with some Supreme Court justices' highly questionable associations and unethical collaboration with the bureau. Based primarily on FBI files, Alexander Charns, a practicing attorney, begins by recounting his eight year-long litigation battle to force the bureau to release under the Freedom of Information Act its files on the Supreme Court and individual justices. In addition, Charns draws on several of the justices' papers at the Library of Congress and, notably, obtained access to Justice Abe Fortas's papers, which are located at Yale University and closed to the public until the year 2000.

The obsession of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover with combating Communism and Left-wing "subversives" through infiltration, wiretapping, and bugging has been well documented elsewhere. But, the extent to which Hoover directed his campaign at the Court has not received much attention. That, of course, has been largely because the FBI's files have remained secret. And that is where Charns's persistence and research makes a genuine contribution. His story of the FBI and federal judges' collaboration remains far from complete, to be sure, due to the bureau's secret filing systems, destruction of records, and censorship of materials that have been made available. Yet, Charns reveals that Hoover made it a practice to try to curry favor with some justices, to promote or cut short the careers of others, and to otherwise influence the federal judiciary. Moreover, between 1945 and 1974 at least twelve justices were overheard in more than 100 wiretapped conversations and Charns establishes some highly inappropriate connections between Hoover and members of the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary.

Not surprisingly, as with much of the Washington community Hoover sought covert access to and influence in the Court. And as the Warren Court moved in more liberal directions when dealing with alleged Communists in the 1950s and then the rights of the accused in the 1960s, Hoover became increasingly concerned. Hoover persuaded Court employees to inform FBI agents about the Court's deliberations, for example, in the case of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Later, he directed an investigation of Earl Warren and maintained files on Justice William 0. Douglas, among other justices, that included material obtained through unauthorized wiretaps. On the basis the latter material, according to Charns, Hoover may have dissuaded President Harry Truman from elevating Justice Douglas to chief justice in 1946. But, on this score Charns's evidence appears weak and circumstantial. And the competing influences and pressures on Truman when naming his friend Fred Vinson to the Court's center chair are greater and more complex that Charns concedes. In illuminating detail, however, Charns recounts how almost two decades later Hoover armed Representative Gerald R. Ford with his file on Douglas prior to Ford's bungled attempt to impeach the justice in the House of Representatives.

More revealing and disturbing is Charns's reconstruction of events in 1966 when Hoover managed to persuade Justice Abe Fortas, whom he once considered a "sniveling liberal," to keep FBI agents abreast of the Court's deliberations in a pending case. The case involved the bureau's unauthorized bugging of the hotel room of Washington lobbyist Fred Black, a close friend of Bobby Baker, who -- like Justice Fortas -- was one of President Lyndon Johnson's intimate associates. Although Justice Fortas recused himself from the case, this story of judicial impropriety comprises the heart of Charns's book and adds another chapter to the volumes already written about Justice Fortas's indiscretions and improper activities on and off the bench.

Page 188 follows:

Admittedly, as a relentless foe of the FBI and advocate-turned-author, Charns occasionally gets carried away. The significance of the FBI's assisting various justices in making travel arrangements, running background checks on potential law clerks and judicial fellows, or helping Chief Justice Warren Burger bring Oriental rugs back to the United States from England in 1985, for instance, appears highly debatable.

Still, Charns makes a strong case for his claim that "An FBI report on a nominee's background should be viewed with as much skepticism as reports submitted by other interest groups." (p. 130) He does so by revealing Hoover's directives in the 1950s to FBI field offices to identify potential judicial nominees who appear friendly to the bureau, and which turned up the likes of Potter Stewart and Warren E. Burger. Charns also highlights the importance of the FBI's uneven reports on judicial nominees and their selective use by the bureau, as well as the FBI's occasional memos to Department of Justice attorneys suggesting that they forum shop in order to have cases heard by judges known to be sympathetic to the bureau.

Finally, and even more disturbing than Justice Fortas's indiscretions and some other revelations, is the evidence Charns unearths concerning Chief Justice Burger's links with the FBI and federal Judge Edward Tamm (a former FBI assistant director) and their efforts to recruit former FBI agents as court administrators. Alas, Charns does not fully explore these connections or what he terms Chief Justice Burger's "hidden political agenda" (p. 124) in pushing reforms in the area of judicial administration. But, his book is the place for others to begin. And his documentation of the unethical and at times illegal activities of those within the FBI and the federal judiciary underscores his concluding recommendations that the working papers of both the bureau and the justices ought to be made public after a reasonable period of time. Unfortunately, Charns's book may well contribute to precisely the opposite result: former justices destroying or censoring papers before making their collections available as public records, just as has been the FBI's practice.

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Monday :: May 10, 2004

Lawsuit Alleging FBI Misconduct Reinstated


by TChris

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has reinstated a lawsuit against the federal government brought by the family of John McIntyre, alleging that "the FBI contributed to McIntyre's death by giving ... two gangsters free rein to commit crimes because they were also federal informants who provided the FBI with information on the Mafia." McIntyre disappeared in 1984. His body was found in 2000.

During 1984 interviews with agents of the FBI, DEA, and Customs Service, McIntyre provided information implicating James Bulger in arms and drug smuggling operations. McIntyre disappeared six weeks later. His family suspected that Bulger played a role in the disappearance but didn't know how Bulger had learned about McIntyre's cooperation with the government. The family also wondered whether the IRA -- the recipient of Bulger's arms shipments -- had been involved with McIntyre's death.

Eventually, the Boston Globe reported that Bulger was an FBI informant and suggested that FBI agents leaked information to Bulger about informants within his criminal organization. The FBI responded that its "leadership remains outraged at the suggestion that any of its own would engage in that type of treachery." When the Globe ran stories in the mid-1990's about McIntyre's disappearance and his connection to Bulger, the government claimed it was "ludicrous" to speculate that a government agent negligently allowed McIntyre to be killed.

In fact, FBI Agent John Connolly was later convicted of revealing the identities of informants to Bulger in order to protect Bulger's ongoing criminal activities and status as a high-level FBI informant.

Although the government did its best to keep the information from becoming public, an associate of Bulger (also an informant) filed an affidavit in a criminal prosecution stating that Connolly's supervisor, John Morris, had assured him that he and Bulger could commit any crime short of murder and receive FBI protection from prosecution. In June 1998, at a hearing in that case, the government made a point of arguing that the evidence was too speculative to permit the court to infer "that there was some lead from the FBI that led to Mr. McIntyre's disappearance." The government's lawyer argued that "dozens" of people could have ratted out McIntyre to Bulger.

In September 1999, the judge in the criminal prosecution opined that there was "reason to be concerned that Connolly may have told Bulger" that McIntyre was an informant, but concluded that the issue could not "be resolved on the present record."

In May 2000, McIntyre's family filed a claim against the government, alleging that the government caused McIntyre's death by revealing his informant status to Bulger. The Justice Department responded with unsurpassed cheekiness by claiming that McIntyre's family waited too long to file suit. The family had two years after they learned about the government's complicity to file their claim, and the government argued that they should have realized before May 1998 that Connolly and Morris had betrayed McIntyre. Never mind that the government did everything it could to conceal that fact. Never mind that it repeatedly dismissed suggestions of FBI wrongdoing as "ludicrous" and "speculative." Apparently, the family should have known that the government was lying.

The First Circuit saw through the hypocrisy of the government's argument. The court held that the family's claim did not arise until it had reason to know of the government's role in McIntyre's death, and it could not have acquired that knowledge in light of the government's efforts to conceal the truth. Because the family filed their claim soon after they learned of facts to support it, the claim was timely. The family now has a chance to persuade a court that it is entitled to compensation for the FBI's scandalous behavior.

To read the opinion, go here and search for case 03-1823, released 5/10/04.


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                                                April 11, 2006 -- Lawyers for alleged FBI mob mole Lindley DeVecchio are asking a federal judge to yank the high-profile case from state Supreme Court in Brooklyn and have it heard in federal court, according to papers made public yesterday.

"We have filed a petition for removal for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York," said one of DeVecchio's lawyers, Mark Bederow, declining to offer further explanation.

The move, if successful, would place Brooklyn prosecutors in an unfamiliar court setting and allow chief defense lawyer Doug Grover - a former federal prosecutor - to operate on his home turf.

"He's legendary in federal court," a court insider said.

Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes reacted quickly to the petition, saying that he expects the move to go nowhere.

"I find no basis in fact or in law for such an application," he said. "I would be surprised if the federal court paid any attention to it."

DeVecchio, 65, a former supervisory special agent, is charged with four counts of murder for allegedly feeding confidential information to a Mafia rat.

The tip-offs allowed the informant, Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, a member of the Colombo crime family, to knock off perceived threats and rivals, authorities say.

Under a little-known statute, an accused federal agent can ask for removal of a court case if he can show that the crimes with which he's charged were committed while he was on the job.

"All of DeVecchio's actions were in connection with and under the color of his official duties," the 10-page filing claims. "SSA DeVecchio was at all times undeniably acting as a federal officer, performing duties authorized by and in furtherance of federal law."


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Reply with quote  #5 
April 15, 2006

For Ex-F.B.I. Agent Accused in Murders, a Case of What Might Have Been

R. Lindley DeVecchio once stood atop the New York office of the F.B.I. as a legendary Mafia hunter, a storied agent who helped break the back of the mob in the celebrated Commission Case.

Now he stands accused of helping the mob commit murders, charged in a state indictment last month with feeding lethal secrets to a captain of organized crime.

Mr. DeVecchio has been hailed as a hero and tarnished as a scourge, and yet there was a moment in a Pennsylvania parking lot 30 years ago that almost caused him to be neither.

In 1976, as a young F.B.I. agent, Mr. DeVecchio sold old handguns to undercover officers, who later sought to charge him with a felony. Had he been convicted, the case might have led to prison or his dismissal as an agent. But Mr. DeVecchio, who said he acted legally and to benefit a widow, was neither jailed nor fired.

The case against him was ultimately discarded without an indictment by officials at the highest levels of the Justice Department, a decision that the federal prosecutor in the original case says was largely made by the top aide to the deputy United States attorney general, a 32-year-old attorney named Rudolph W. Giuliani.

"Rudy expressed no other reason not to prosecute the guy except the guy was a cop," said the former prosecutor, Daniel M. Clements, who is now in private practice. "And he didn't want to embarrass the bureau."

Mr. Clements said last week that he recalled in detail his meetings 30 years ago with Mr. Giuliani, as well as his frustration that the case was dismissed as unimportant.

Mr. Giuliani, who built a reputation in part by prosecuting corrupt police officers, said through a spokeswoman, Sunny Mindel, that he had no recollection of the DeVecchio case.

Whatever the level, if any, of Mr. Giuliani's role, the case stands as a long-buried piece of law enforcement history, a fork in the road that, if traversed differently, may have led to an entirely different set of consequences. Indeed, from the vantage point of 1976, the gun case may have seemed a minor matter. There was no way to know that seven years later, according to the state indictment filed last month in Brooklyn, Mr. DeVecchio would step across the line, helping a Mafia informant kill at least four people.

But if Mr. DeVecchio had been pursued in 1976, would he have risen to lead the F.B.I. squad that hunted the Colombo crime family? Would he have had a role in some of the government's watershed cases against the mob? Would he now stand accused of second-degree murder?

His lawyer, Douglas E. Grover, said federal officials were right to never charge his client in the gun case because they were merely antiques that were peddled at a gun show. But he acknowledged that had that case been successfully pursued Mr. DeVecchio would probably have lost his job. "It also means that they may made not have made the Commission Case," he said, referring to a 1986 trial at which top organized crime leaders in New York City were convicted.

The gun case began in early 1976 when Mr. DeVecchio traveled from New York to King of Prussia, Pa., to sell a Nazi-era Luger at the Valley Forge Gun Show, which promotes itself as "a gun show in the truest American tradition."

He was looking, according to his testimony in a later case, to sell the weapons "for the benefit of the widow" to whom they belonged.

Without a license, he moved through the stalls of the firearms bazaar, and was soon approached by Michael Flax, an undercover agent with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Mr. Flax said. Mr. Flax's job was to troll the show in plainclothes looking for such illicit deals. That year alone, he said, several people he caught similarly selling guns without paperwork went to prison. "I was usually like, 'Gee I'd like to get this gun,' " he said in an interview from his retirement home in San Diego. ' "Do we have to go through all the paperwork?' "

Mr. Flax recalled that he bought the Luger in a parking lot outside the show. Over several weeks, he said, he pursued an investigation of Mr. DeVecchio in which a second agent secretly recorded the F.B.I. man selling another gun. He said that Mr. DeVecchio, at one point, gave him a phone number at which he might be reached. It was, he said, an office of the New York F.B.I.

A few weeks later, Mr. Flax brought the case to Mr. Clements, then a young federal prosecutor in Baltimore. Mr. Clements is now in private practice and active in the Democratic Party, having given money to candidates like John Kerry and Al Gore.

"Flax comes to me saying, 'You're not going to believe this,' " Mr. Clements said last week. " 'I have an F.B.I. agent selling guns illegally.' "

A few months later, Mr. Clements said he told the F.B.I. as a courtesy that he was investigating one of its agents. A few weeks passed, he said, with discussions back and forth with F.B.I. officials in Maryland and in Washington. "The next person I heard from," he went on, "was Rudolph Giuliani."

Mr. Giuliani was, at that point, an aide to Harold Tyler, the deputy attorney general, who reviewed such cases. Mr. Giuliani had joined his staff in 1975 after serving in the United States attorney's office in Manhattan where he had helped direct the prosecution in the Prince of the City police corruption case.

Over several weeks, Mr. Clements said, Mr. Giuliani asked him to write a pair of memoranda on the case in which he noted that Mr. DeVecchio had sold the guns without the proper paperwork, a crime, Mr. Clements said, for which he thought there was sufficient evidence to prosecute. Mr. Clements said he attended a pair of meetings about the case with Mr. Giuliani, including one in Mr. Giuliani's office also attended by Mr. Tyler and Jervis Finney, the United States attorney in Maryland who was then Mr. Clements's boss.

Mr. Finney, now the chief lawyer for the governor of Maryland, said last week he has no recollection of the meeting. But Mr. Clements produced a datebook he said he had saved that listed a meeting with Mr. Giuliani in June 1976.

At that meeting and a subsequent meeting in October, Mr. Clements said Mr. Giuliani repeated his desire not to prosecute the case, saying the guns were old and the sale of them without paperwork did not warrant prosecution.

Judge Tyler, who Mr. Clements said was at the second meeting, died last year. The bottom line, after both meetings, Mr. Clements said, was that the case would be dropped.

In the ensuing years, Mr. DeVecchio rose to lead the F.B.I.'s special unit that investigates the Colombo crime family, a position in which he had success in part because of his relationship with a captain in the family, Gregory Scarpa Sr., who became his informant.

The closeness of that relationship ultimately led to a two-year inquiry of Mr. DeVecchio by the F.B.I. that ended in 1996 with the decision to bring no charges against him. But Mr. DeVecchio soon retired.

In 1997, the old gun case briefly resurfaced. At a federal appeals hearing in Brooklyn. Mr. DeVecchio was called as a witness by a gangster, Victor J. Orena, who was trying to win his freedom by suggesting that Mr. DeVecchio was a corrupt agent who had lied about the facts in his case. Under questioning by Gerald Shargel, Mr. Orena's lawyer, Mr. DeVecchio acknowledged selling the guns to the federal agents.

Mr. Shargel then went on to ask him: "Do you remember agents of the A.T.F. reporting to the F.B.I. and Rudolph Giuliani — not yet the mayor — that you had lied to those agents who questioned you, that when confronted with the crimes that you committed, you gave them false exculpatory statements?"

Mr. DeVecchio said that he did not.

In the new indictment, announced last month by Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, Mr. DeVecchio is accused of helping Mr. Scarpa commit at least four murders in the 1980's and early 1990's in exchange for weekly payments. Most of the victims had been talking to the authorities, prosecutors said, and thus were a threat to Mr. Scarpa.

When Mr. Clements read of the indictment, he said he was surprised. At the same time, he recalled the words that he and Mr. Flax had swapped, years ago, when the gun case, as he put it, "went away."

It was an old-time adage on those who break the law, a general theory of recidivist crime. "If someone's a bad actor, we'll get him again," he remembered telling Mr. Flax.


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Reply with quote  #6 
Ex-FBI Agent Is Probed In Murder of a Doctor
Gang Land

April 27, 2006

Authorities are investigating new allegations linking a retired FBI agent, R. Lindley DeVecchio, to another gangland-style slaying carried out by Mr. DeVecchio's top echelon informant, Colombo capo Gregory Scarpa.

This killing is a little different, however, than the mob rub outs already charged to the gangster and his G-man associate. It involves a former abortion doctor who was shot to death in Queens on December 3, 1980.

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Reply with quote  #7 

April 16, 2006

FBI agent admits Galardi ties

Friendship with strip club owner led to free drinks, lap dances and other favors

By Jeff German <german@lasvegassun.com> and Steve Kanigher <steve@lasvegassun.com>
Las Vegas Sun

Michael Galardi has said for years that FBI agents were among the law enforcement authorities and elected officials he provided with free drinks, lap dances and even sexual favors as the owner of a topless club in Las Vegas.

Internal Justice Department documents obtained last week by the Sun confirm for the first time that one agent, Robert Pellet, admitted to Justice investigators that he accepted favors and gifts from Galardi.

Pellet also said groups of agents he took to Galardi's former club, Cheetahs, were let in free and given occasional rounds of beer.

Pellet made the statements to a team of Justice investigators sent to Las Vegas after Galardi made his accusations about Pellet and others in 2003.

The Justice documents also show that Pellet's involvement with Galardi put the FBI in a bind as it sought to build a case against several Clark County commissioners the agency believed were taking bribes from Galardi. Although the FBI wanted to end Pellet's contact with Galardi, the agency instructed him to continue the relationship so that Galardi would not become suspicious.

Las Vegas FBI spokesman Dave Staretz declined to comment Friday about Pellet, although he said the internal investigation is continuing.

Last week, at the federal bribery trial of two former commissioners, Dario Herrera and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, Galardi testified that he usually gave Pellet $500 in cash for drinks and lap dances during his frequent visits to Cheetahs and once paid a stripper $500 to have sex with the agent at a golf tournament.

"I considered him my friend," Galardi told defense lawyers under cross-examination, adding that he believed he had provided $100,000 worth of gifts and favors to Pellet and other local FBI agents Pellet brought to Cheetahs over a period of eight years.

During the internal review of Pellet's behavior, Justice investigators told him that the department's ethics guidelines ban FBI employees from accepting gifts and other things of value from a "prohibited source." The Justice documents show that Pellet acknowledged receiving free drinks and lap dances and other benefits from Galardi in the years leading up to the corruption probe, which began at the end of 2000. But Pellet, who was not on the FBI squad that investigated Galardi and the politicians, denied getting cash or having sex with any Cheetahs dancers. He also said he did not use his position to further Galardi's interests.

Galardi first leveled allegations against Pellet and some of his colleagues in July 2003, when he sought leniency and agreed to cooperate with the government against Herrera, Kincaid-Chauncey and his own bagman, former County Commissioner Lance Malone, who stands trial in August.

Galardi at the time also provided the government with a long list of other elected officials and law enforcement officers he claimed to have corrupted.

Defense lawyers have attacked Galardi's credibility by arguing that he was throwing around the names of many innocent people to try to get a better deal for himself. Pellet's statements to Justice investigators show that in his case, some of those accusations were true.

A couple of months after Galardi made the allegations, investigators from two Washington-based agencies within the Justice Department, the office of the inspector general and the Public Integrity Section, were brought in to look into the ties between Galardi and the Las Vegas FBI office.

Two months into that internal investigation, Herrera, Kincaid-Chauncey and Malone were indicted by a federal grand jury in the corruption scandal. A fourth former county commissioner, Erin Kenny, had already pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Galardi and agreed to become a government witness.

As the criminal case proceeded slowly to trial over the next 2 1/2 years, agents stationed with the inspector general's office in Los Angeles conducted extensive interviews with Galardi and several of his managers and dancers, along with the local FBI agents Galardi had implicated.

At the same time, yet another internal investigation took place into Galardi's claims that he had provided drinks and lap dances to Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson, the prosecutor overseeing the corruption investigation. That review was conducted by Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility in Washington.

Investigators in that case said they could not substantiate the allegations against Johnson, but the veteran prosecutor was removed from the criminal case.

On Jan. 30, about six weeks before the start of the corruption trial, the inspector general's office was ready to interview Pellet, the Justice documents show. By that time, Pellet had transferred at his request to the U.S. embassy in Lagos, Nigeria. (He now works at the FBI office in Seattle.)

Pellet was advised that the criminal portion of the investigation was completed and that he would not be charged with any criminal wrongdoing, the Justice documents show.

In a heavily censored sworn affidavit Pellet signed on Jan. 31, he said he first met Galardi in 1996 and became good friends with him by the summer of 1998. The two men met after Pellet had come to Cheetahs on official FBI business looking for the boyfriend of a dancer.

Pellet said he was careful not to socialize with Galardi on a one-on-one basis over the years and that his supervisors were aware of his relationship.

"I met Galardi at a time when he was viewed as a pro-law enforcement 'good' guy," Pellet said in the 17-page affidavit.

From 1996 through 2000, Pellet said, he went to Cheetahs about four times a month. He said he never paid the $10 cover charge and either got free drinks or paid the half-price "law enforcement discount" for drinks. He also occasionally received free lap dances.

Pellet also said Galardi usually paid for his meals when they dined together, took him to a Mike Tyson boxing match, sponsored his club rugby team and bought a membership for him at the Las Vegas Sporting House. The agent, however, said he never used the membership, always paying his own way whenever he played racquetball with Galardi and his managers.

Pellet denied receiving other favors and items that Galardi claimed to have given him, including a handgun, tickets for other professional sporting events and transportation to auto shows outside the state.

Pellet did acknowledge bringing other agents to Cheetahs for bachelor parties and other "group functions."

The groups would get in free and usually received a couple rounds of beer, but they would pay for everything else, including lap dances, Pellet said.

His story was backed up by two fellow FBI agents who are also his friends, Michael Solari and William Wynn. In interviews with internal investigators, they acknowledged going to Cheetahs with Pellet.

But Pellet denied an initial claim by Galardi in July 2003 that Pellet would bring new FBI agents to his club as a way of introducing them to Las Vegas.

Sometimes, Galardi reported at the time, 10 to 15 agents would show up at the adult club for bachelor parties. Over the years, Galardi estimated, 40 new agents had come to Cheetahs with Pellet.

In his Jan. 31 affidavit, Pellet also denied a Galardi accusation that he received oral sex from a Cheetahs stripper at a 1998 golf tournament Galardi hosted at Mount Charleston.

Two days later, however, after Pellet had been given a polygraph test, he signed another five-page affidavit in which he acknowledged that Galardi had sent a topless dancer to him inside a tent at the golf outing.

"The girl started kissing and making out with me," Pellet said. "Then she gave me a lap dance inside the tent. I did not have sex with her or anyone else that day."

Galardi told Justice Department investigators in a Feb. 3, 2004, interview that he had paid $500 to one of his dancers, Breana Whitmore, to have sex with Pellet at the tournament. Whitmore, Galardi said, was invited to work the tournament as a caddy.

Some of Galardi's managers interviewed by investigators recalled that Galardi had once paid a stripper to have sex with Pellet at a golf tournament.

But Whitmore, in a Jan. 19, 2005, interview with investigators, denied ever having sex with Pellet.

She told the agents that Galardi had instructed her to make up a story about a sexual encounter with Pellet and convey it to investigators.

"Whitmore was never given money by Galardi or anyone else to have sex with ... Pellet," the investigators wrote. "In the past, she has accepted money for sex, but never for Pellet."

Agents with the inspector general's office also reported that Whitmore was unable to identify Pellet from a series of photos they showed her.

Pellet acknowledged, however, that several embarrassing incidents occurred during his relationship with Galardi.

One time, he said, Galardi left him in the VIP room at Cheetahs alone with two naked dancers.

"Sometime before I learned about Galardi's potential involvement with corrupting public officials, I was in Cheetahs when Galardi pushed everyone out of the VIP room so that two girls could give me lap dances," Pellet said in his Jan. 31 affidavit. "Galardi forced me in the room and closed the glass door so that no one else could come in.

"Upon closing the door, the two girls, whose names I cannot recall or never knew and have not seen since, told me that Galardi had paid them to have sex with me.

"I immediately told the girls this was not going to happen. These strippers then told me to relax and sit down, where they proceeded to give me a lap dance. I recall both girls were completely naked. I also recall they were quite weathered and looked cheap, hard, skinny and unattractive."

Pellet said the two girls danced and groped each other for two songs, and then one of the strippers rubbed his crotch and attempted to give him oral sex.

"I stopped her, zipped up my zipper, moved to the glass door and pounded on the door for someone to open it," he said. "Someone opened the door. I went to Galardi's office, and I said, 'that was (expletive). Never do this again.' Galardi replied, 'Come on, you didn't give me much to work with. I was going to videotape you.' "

Pellet also acknowledged that he had driven a Dodge Viper that belonged to Galardi's father, Jack Galardi, on several occasions.

"Galardi and I had discussed that the Viper was sitting still in the garage on Rancho Street and that sitting still was bad for the car," Pellet said. "I initially said no to Galardi. The subject came up again and Galardi asked me again, so I did take the vehicle for a weekend.

"I also drove the Viper on two other weekends in a 10-day period. During one of those subsequent weekends, I let Mike Solari drive the Viper. Solari and his wife went out to eat using the Viper sports car."

In a Sept. 30, 2005, sworn affidavit, Solari said he recalled riding in the Viper with Pellet, and he confirmed that he had driven it one Saturday evening.

"That Saturday night I drove my wife to dinner in that vehicle after cleaning and waxing the vehicle," Solari told agents from the inspector general's office.

Pellet, meanwhile, told investigators that he was unaware at the time that Jack Galardi owned the car and was a convicted felon.

"Had I been aware the Viper belonged to Jack Galardi and that Jack Galardi was a convicted felon, I would have definitely not driven it or allowed Solari to drive it, either," Pellet wrote.

He also said that he was not aware that Galardi's father was once a target of the corruption investigation.

Pellet recalled another embarrassing moment when he stopped by Galardi's home one day to show him his new government-issued car, a white Chevrolet Lumina.

"Galardi got in the vehicle to see the inside," Pellet wrote. "All of a sudden, Galardi closed the door, as I was shouting at Galardi not to drive the car. Galardi sped away. I had left the door open and the keys in the ignition. I tried to get Galardi to stop, but he laughed and said, '(expletive).' I saw Galardi drive out the gate."

In July 2003, when he was trying to make his deal with the government, Galardi told FBI agents that he sped off in the car, with sirens blasting, at about 100 mph and drove through a red light.

When he returned to his house, Galardi said, Pellet's face was white.

But Pellet suggested in his affidavit that Galardi was gone less than five minutes, "hardly having enough time to get to the next light from his residence and return."

Pellet did concede that he may have violated Justice guidelines prohibiting any misuse of government vehicles when Galardi drove the car.

On another occasion, Pellet recalled bringing an FBI surveillance van to Cheetahs. When opening the door, he said he broke some neon lights outside the club.

"I offered to fix the neon lights for Galardi, telling him I would pay for the damage," Pellet wrote in his affidavit. "Galardi refused, jokingly commenting, 'I'll send the bill to the FBI.' "

At one point during the internal investigation, Robert Lawson, a Metro Police detective who worked on a joint drug task force with Pellet, told Justice investigators that he was concerned about Pellet's ties to Galardi.

"Lawson warned Pellet on several occasions to stop frequenting Cheetahs and other nightclubs under potential investigation," the investigators wrote in a report of their interview of the detective.

Lawson told the investigators that Pellet had once brought complimentary passes to Cheetahs, along with some Cheetahs T-shirts and hats, to the drug task force office at a time when the task force was conducting a drug trafficking investigation at the club.

At the end of his Jan. 31 affidavit, Pellet said that he understood Galardi had used his friendship as a "bragging right" and had undermined his position as an FBI agent.

In their report of their February 2004 interview with Galardi, Justice investigators said the main reason Galardi spent time with Pellet "was to have bragging rights.

"He liked telling people, especially other club owners, that he hung out with the FBI," the investigators wrote. "Hanging out with the FBI made him feel important and untouchable."

Solari told investigators that he recalled Pellet was warned by his FBI supervisors to "be careful" with his friendship with Galardi and received a verbal reprimand in September 2001.

But Solari added: "If Pellet had been told not to frequent Cheetahs and stop his relationship with Galardi, he would have obeyed."

Solari also reported that FBI agents investigating Galardi in the corruption case told Pellet to continue his relationship with the strip-club boss on a "limited" basis.

"The case agents told him to maintain a sense of normalcy with Galardi," Solari said.

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