The FBI’s GMEN [and Women] Are Experts Investigating Public Corruption and White Collar Crime
SACRAMENTO–In San Francisco, a California state legislator was charged with firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, distributing drugs and wire fraud; while in Charlotte, North Carolina, a local mayor was charged with soliciting and taking bribes during an undercover operation. Eroding public trust—undermining the democratic process—the FBI has directed local field offices to make public corruption their top criminal priority.
Not concerned about constituents, much less breaking the law, the FBI says each year agents are assigned to investigate public servants who violate their oaths looking for personal gain. Investigating approximately 4000 public corruption cases in 2013, the FBI said investigators returned more than 1200 Indictments and Informations filed charging public officials.
Uniquely positioned, unlike many police agencies, the FBI said agents are trained to investigate corruption at all levels of government. When allegations suggest schemes involving bribery, embezzlement, racketeering, kickbacks and money laundering local field offices can request personnel and equipment needed to conduct long-term complex investigations. Using sophisticated investigative techniques including electronic surveillance, undercover operations and confidential human sources, the FBI said agents are taught to capture handshakes, money exchanges and surreptitiously record conversations when suspects talk about their corrupt schemes in an effort to collect evidence.
Historically speaking, beginning with the agency’s birth in 1908, the FBI said agents investigated corrupt public officials as a result of Congress authorizing agents to investigate land fraud cases. Using confidential human sources, electronic surveillance and conducting undercover operations, the FBI said investigators work closely with the Justice Department to ensure laws, guidelines, and strict protocols are followed by agents conducting public corruption investigations.