A veteran California FBI agent who investigated white collar crimes has agreed to plead guilty to illegally accessing FBI files to help an acquaintance collect a debt, according to court records.
A plea agreement filed by the U.S. Attorneys Office in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif. said that agent Peter H. Norell Jr. accessed the FBI data base to get information to help the acquaintance “and according to Norell’s understanding, other investors.”
The document said that Norell “never intended to and never did initiate a legitimate FBI investigation into” the person who owed money, but he threatened to launch a probe against someone only identified as T.S. , if T.S. did not pay off the debt.
It said he “communicated his threats to initiate an FBI investigation” in multiple phone calls as well as in person when Norell went to T.S.’s home at 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2005.
The document said that Norell was informed that T.S. paid a portion of the debt to the acquaintance. Part of the agreement was that Norell resign as an FBI agent.