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Tag: Inspector General

FBI Agent Who Bungled Sex-Abuse Allegations Against Nassar Is Fired

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has fired an agent accused of failing to properly investigate sexual abuse allegations against USA disgraced Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

The termination of Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent at the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, comes two months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that the FBI mishandled the case.

Langeman was fired last week, The Washington Post reports

In 2015, Langeman interviewed gymnast McKayla Maroney, who said she was sexually abused by Nassar. 

In his report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused Langeman and his former boss, Jay Abbott, of mishandling the case and then lying to inspector general investigators about it. 

Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.” During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is scheduled to testify about the Nassar case today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Former FBI Section Chief Charged with Falsifying His Time Sheet

By Steve Neavling

A former section chief at the FBI’s Quantico lab is accused of falsifying his team sheet, getting paid for nearly 900 hours of time he didn’t work. 

John Behun, a 28-year veteran of the bureau, was charged with theft of government property in U.S. District Court last month, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. He was fired in February 2019.

As a laboratory division section chief, Behun led the section that handles human resources, finance, safety and compliance/health program. 

Between 2015 to 2018, Behun is accused of getting compensated for time he didn’t complete. 

The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General led the investigation.. 

Behun was out of jail on bond but was prohibit from traveling internationally. 

IG Investigation Found No Evidence of FBI Agents Leaking Information Prior to 2016 Presidential Election

By Steve Neavling

A Justice Department inspector general’s investigation was unable to identify who in the FBI leaked information to the media or Rudolph Giuliani prior to the 2016 presidential election. 

But according to the new 10-page report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, more than 50 FBI officials were in contact with reporters who wrote about investigations before the election.

The impetus of the internal probe was the discovery that details of the FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaign were leaked to the media. 

Horowitz noted that it was difficult to identify the leakers because he did not have subpoena power and that too many agents had contact with reporters. He noted there was “a cultural attitude at the FBI that was far too permissive of unauthorized media contacts in 2016.”

Giuliani previously claimed he had inside information about the Clinton investigation. But according to the report, Giuliani walked back his claims, saying he did not talk to active FBI agents and “had no foreknowledge” of then-FBI Director James Comey’s public revelation just before the election that the bureau had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email account. 

IG Report: FBI Used Provocative Photos of Female Staffers to Lure Predators in Undercover Stings

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents posted provocative photos of young female coworkers online to lure predators in sex trafficking investigations, placing them “in danger of becoming the victims of criminal offenses,” according to an Inspector General report.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the agents did not get approval from the employees’ supervisors or written consent from the staffers to post the photos. 

The report also found that the employees were not certified for undercover work. 

Horowitz’s internal investigation was prompted by allegations that an unidentified FBI agent was having an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer, whom the agent asked for “provocative pictures of herself” for the undercover sting.

The FBI said it “fully accepted” the recommendations in the report and that it would create “new language” to address the problems outlined by Horowitz. 

FBI Bungled Sex Abuse Probe of USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar, IG Finds

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a searing 119-page report

The FBI acknowledged the findings Wednesday and made no excuses for the blunders. 

“As the Inspector General made clear in today’s report, this should not have happened,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI will never lose sight of the harm that Nassar’s abuse caused. The actions and inactions of certain FBI employees described in the report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization. The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters.”

The FBI added that it “will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.”

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

The report accuses W. Jay Abbot, the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation “to minimize errors” made by his office.

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

Federal Law Enforcement Agencies ‘Unprepared’ for Body Cameras, IG Says

Body cams, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling

Federal law enforcement agencies are “generally unprepared “ to adopt the widespread use of body cameras, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General.

The report comes after the Justice Department said earlier this month that it would begin requiring federal agents to wear body cameras while executing raids and serving arrest warrants.

In the last decade, the Justice Department issued $150 million in grants for camera programs, but none of that money went to the ATF, FBI, DEA, or U.S. Marshals Service. 

“Given the demonstrated benefits of BWC programs, their widespread use by law enforcement agencies across the country, the Components’ substantial involvement in street-level enforcement activity, the public’s increasing expectation that objective video evidence be available in law enforcement interactions with the public—especially those involving use of force—and recent legislation introduced by Congress that would require federal LEOs to use BWCs, we believe that the DOJ should carefully reassess its lack of BWC programs for DOJ LEOs and pursue the actions necessary to prepare for program implementation,” the report says.

In March, the U.S. House approved the Federal Police Camera and Accountability Act, which requires federal law enforcement to wear body cameras. 

DOJ Watchdog Probes DOJ’s Seizure of Data from Democrats, Journalists

court

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating discoveries that the Trump administration seized data from journalists and House Democrats as part of a probe into leaked classified information. 

Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced the investigation Friday and said he would examine whether the DOJ violated department policy and “whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations,” The Associated Press reports.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco requested the internal review after the revelation last week that Justice Department prosecutors secretly subpoenaed Apple for data from U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as well as their aides and family members.

It was also recently discovered that Trump’s Justice Department  secured subpoenas for reporters’ records. 

President Biden’s administration denounced the subpoenas as an abuse of power. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called the conduct “shocking” and said it “clearly fits within an appalling trend that represents the opposite of how authority should be used.”

Homeland Security Special Agent Charged with Bribery for Allegedly Helping Organized Crime Figure

By Steve Neavling

A former Homeland Security special agent is accused of accepting at least $122,000 and other gifts to help an organized crime figure evade authorities. 

Felix Cisneros Jr., 46, was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, bribery and 26 counts of money laundering. 

Between 2015 and 2016, while he was a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, Cisneros is accused of accepting cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays and meals. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros used highly restricted law enforcement data bases to keep the crime figure informed about investigations, according to a Justice Department news release.

Cisneros also is accused of removing information about a German citizen with a criminal record from a government database to help him enter the country. In addition, Cisneros allegedly tried to help get a relative of the crime figure into the U.S. from Armenia. 

Cisneros also is accused of warning the crime figure about law enforcement actions. 

The crime figure wasn’t identified in the indictment. 

Cisneros faces up 20 years in prison. 

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General continue to investigate. 

The case is behind handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.