FBI Expert

FBI Agent Takes Cash Gifts from Mobster Turned Informant!

An FBI agent assigned to the agency’s Atlanta Division is under investigation for allegedly receiving cash and gifts from a Bureau informant and influencing a local murder investigation says investigative reporter BRIAN ROSS.  Seen on ABC’s Nightline News, ROSS said the informant–MANI CHULPAYEV–told investigators he gave the agent cash, jewelry and other expensive items, including several extremely valuable luxury cars for the agent’s personal use.

Asked about the allegations, GEORGE PLUMIDES–an attorney representing CHULPAYEV–said “the agent obstructed a murder investigation.”  ROSS said he confirmed both the FBI’s Inspection Division and the Justice Department’s Inspector General were looking into the allegations and identified DANTE JACKSON as the agent under investigation.  The story concerning CHULPAYEV reportedly came to light as a result of JACKSON trying “to get local police and detectives to leave CHULPAYEV alone,” alerting officials and causing investigators to take a second look at the murder.

ROSS said the murder investigation concerned MELVIN VERNELL III, age-19, also known as rapper LIL PHAT whom authorities suspected was killed by CHULPAYEV and two associates in 2012, as a result of dispute involving “drugs and other business dealings.”  ROSS states Fulton County, Georgia prosecutors said CHULPAYEV orchestrated the “hit,” using two close associates causing officials to return charges alleging murder, weapons and street gang activity.  PHAT was murdered outside an Atlanta hospital waiting for his fiancée who was giving birth to their child.

An informant for the FBI for almost 10-years, according to the reporter, CHULPAYEV was twice able to avoid long prison terms because of his cooperation.  He said he also learned agents once tried to divert local cops from investigating allegations the informant was selling stolen luxury cars.  Making contact with someone ripped off by the mobster turned “good-fellow,” ROSS said TRAVIS JONES told him when he filed a theft report with police, he was told by one detective CHULPAYEV was under the FBI’s protective umbrella.

Investigating allegations, ROSS reported when an ABC News’ Atlanta affiliate confronted CHULPAYEV earlier in the year, the local reporter making the inquiry later received a telephone call from an FBI agent inquiring why the reporter was interested in CHULPAYEV.   A journalist for more than 32-years, WSB-TV reporter JIM STRICKLAND said the telephone call suggested CHULPAYER was plenty close to the FBI and he thought the telephone call from the agent asking about his inquiry was extremely unusual.

According to CHULPAYEV’s attorney, he said the agent asked for the gifts and $3500 in cash, during the time when CHULPAYEV was under investigation for the murder.

As reflected in the ATTORNEY GENERAL GUIDELINES regarding the use of FBI Confidential Human Sources [CHS], issued by Attorney General ALBERTO R. GONZALES, dated December 13, 2006, in section captioned, “Prohibited Transactions and Relationships,” it states DOJ personnel are prohibited from engaging in “any business or financial transactions with a Confidential Human Source,” including the exchanging of gifts and providing and/or receiving anything of more than nominal value when operating a CHS.  As noted in ROSS’ report–making contact with an agency spokesperson–the FBI said the it’s policy concerning prohibited transactions “could not be more clear.”