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Friday, May 4, 2018

FBI: Tarnished Badges

     During J. Edgar Hoover's reign as the fourth director of the FBI (1924-1972), I don't believe a single agent committed a crime serious enough to send him to prison. During the bureau's entire history, I don't think a female agent has been put behind bars. Since 1972, however, dozens of male agents have gone from investigators to inmates. At least four have been convicted of murder, and several have been put away for espionage. Many others have been imprisioned for perjury, theft, and even child molestation.

Special Agent Darin McAllister and the Root Of All Evil

     After growing up in the Chicago suburb of Skokie, Illinois, Darin McAllister earned a degree in divinity from Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. At age 26, he moved to Los Angeles where he became a staff minister at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in south LA. His wife Judith, a gospel singer, became minister of music.

     In the early 1990s, the Los Angeles Police Department actively recruited African American officers in an effort to improve its relationship with the city's minority population. In March 1991, the Rodney King beating led to race riots in the city. McAllister joined the department that year as a patrol officer. In 1996 he applied to the FBI, was hired as a Special Agent, and assigned to the Los Angeles Division where he gathered street gang intelligence as an undercover agent.

     Seven years later, in 2003, the bureau transfered McAllister to the Nashville Resident Agency out of the Memphis Division. McAllister moved to Tennessee with his wife, three children, and a profit of $236,000 from the sale of his house in California. With that money, and mortgage loans from several banks, McAllister purchased, fixed-up and rented out several duplexes.

     The FBI agent/real estate investor was doing quite well until the housing market crashed in 2008. McAllister lost tenants and fell behind in his mortgage payments. His loans were called in, he couldn't pay, and the banks foreclosed. In 2009, after he filed for bankruptcy, bank examiners discovered that McAllister, when he had applied for the mortage loans, had inflated his personal income by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

     In May 2010, a federal grand jury indicted McAllister of wire fraud, false bank declarations, and other banking fraud related offenses, 19 counts in all. In December of that year, in a U.S. District Court in Franklin, Tennessee, a jury found McAllister guilty of several counts of mortgage fraud. The judge sentenced him to four years in prison, and fined him $675,000.

     McAllister's attorney appealed his client's conviction, claiming that McAllister was duped by shoddy real estate appraisers and loan officers.

     People have gone to prison for crimes a lot worse than McAllister's. He lied, and picked the wrong time to get into real estate. Had he been a member of congress, no problem. But he was a FBI agent, and he should have known better.

     Today, the FBI and the Department of Justice is in the midst of a scandal involving dozens of alleged crimes, most of which are against America's most cherished principle: democracy. It could be argued that the FBI is at the lowest point of its history and my never recover from its breach of trust with the American people. As a former FBI agent who has followed and written about the history of the bureau, I regret saying this.

3 comments:

  1. This man's crimes are chickenfeed to what some FBI folks have been involved in. It is finished as an organization. That must hurt, Jim, for you and many other footsoldiers who served the people with loyalty and courage. Thank you for your service.

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