Agreeing with his predecessor the FBI should pursue “quality” investigations, in 1978, Director WILLIAM H. WEBSTER identified White-Collar-Crime [WCC], Organized Crime [OC], and Foreign Counterintelligence as Bureau priorities. Thereafter, FBI officials quickly identified case code named, “OPFOPEN; Office of Origin: Indianapolis;” as an example of the type of investigation the FBI should pursue adding the designation “Major Case #1.”
As background information, OPFOPEN concerned two Bureau agents posing as financial consultants whose purpose was to engage and later prosecute globe-trotting conmen who used national borders to evade prosecution and conduct fraudulent schemes. As revealed in his website, JAMES J. WEDICK was one of the Bureau undercover agents assigned to investigate and collect evidence in the OPFOPEN investigation.
To further enhance the FBI’s White-Collar-Crime Program and develop cases such as OPFOPEN, Director WEBSTER stressed the need for the FBI to recruit special agent accountants and increase the Bureau’s use of conducting Undercover Operations. After being designated a national priority, the White-Collar-Crime section attracted some of the Bureau’s most talented investigators and within a short period of time quickly established itself as an aggressive unit. As an example of its effectiveness, in July 1978, the FBI initiated the controversial ABSCAM probe wherein six  members of Congress were later prosecuted for soliciting bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as an Arab-sheik.
Since the ABSCAM investigation, the White-Collar-Crime section at FBIHQ has repeatedly been recognized as being responsible for pursuing some of the Bureau’s most complicated undercover investigations, including Operation GREYLORD that concerned members of the Chicago judiciary “fixing” cases in traffic court and Operations LOST TRUST and BRISPEC that concerned state legislators soliciting “bribes.”