The Year in Review, Part 2
The Year in Review
A Look at FBI Cases, Part 2
Together with our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities, the FBI worked thousands of investigations during 2009, everything from cyber crime and espionage to public corruption and billion-dollar fraud schemes. As the year draws to a close, we thought readers would be interested in a look back at some of 2009’s most significant cases.
Part 1 focused on terrorism cases. This segment highlights some of the year’s top cases from the FBI’s other investigative priorities:
Espionage: In November, a former State Department official and his wife pled guilty to a 30-year conspiracy to provide classified military information to Cuba. (Preventing and exposing intelligence activities—spying—on U.S. soil remains one of the Bureau’s top investigative priorities because it strikes at the heart of national security.) Details
Cyber heist: Also in November, four hackers were charged with masterminding the simultaneous theft of $9 million from 2,100 ATMs from around the world. They did it all in 12 hours, illustrating the global reach—and threat—of cyber crime. (The arrests illustrated the importance of global law enforcement partnerships.) Details
Public corruption: In August, former Louisiana Congressman William J. Jefferson was convicted of bribery, racketeering, and money laundering. In November, a federal judge sentenced the 62-year-old to 13 years in prison and ordered him to forfeit more than $470,000. Details on Jefferson’s conviction and sentencing.
Operation Phish Phry: Nearly 100 people were charged in the U.S. and Egypt in October in one the largest cyber fraud phishing cases to date. The defendants targeted U.S. banks and victimized hundreds and possibly thousands of account holders by stealing their financial information and using it to transfer money to bogus accounts. Details
Operation Cross Country: As part of the FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative, 100 children victimized through prostitution were recovered in two separate multi-city sweeps. More than 1,200 individuals—including 60 pimps—were arrested on state and local charges. Details on Cross County III and IV.
Operation Knock Out: The nation’s largest gang investigation and prosecution underscored the growing gang problem in the U.S. and the negative impact gangs have on communities. The Los Angeles investigation involved more than 1,400 officers from more than 40 federal, state, and local agencies. By October, some 200 defendants had been indicted, and the case continues. Details
Pfizer fraud: In the largest health care fraud settlement in Department of Justice history, the pharmaceutical giant agreed in September to pay $2.3 billion to resolve charges of illegal and fraudulent promotion of its products. Details
Large-scale corruption: In July, 44 prominent political and religious leaders—including mayors, assemblymen, and rabbis from New Jersey and New York—were arrested in an early morning sweep and charged with political corruption and high-volume international money laundering. Details
Bernard Madoff: In March, the financier pled guilty to multiple counts of fraud and money laundering after bilking his clients out of billions of dollars. In June, the 71-year-old was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $170 billion to the government. Details on Madoff’s guilty plea and sentencing.
Mortgage fraud: In April, indictments were announced in connection with the “Dream Homes Program.” The program promised to pay homeowners’ mortgages in return for an up-front fee that would be invested in profitable business ventures but turned into a $70 million nightmare for more than 1,000 investors. Details