EXCLUSIVE: FBI Paid Agent Quarter-Million for Work He Never Did, Watchdog Finds

Supervisor raked in $246,819 for no-show hours he claimed over 3 years, DOJ Inspector General said.


A high-ranking FBI special agent was paid nearly a quarter-million dollars for hours he did not work over the course of about three years, records obtained by The Messenger reveal.

But the supervisory G-man dodged criminal scrutiny when the feds declined to prosecute him for alleged attendance fraud.

The unidentified agent allegedly committed the $246,819 fraud by not showing up to work for about half of all the hours he claimed over more than three years — in one year "earning" $86,902 in income from non-worked hours, according to the documents.

The alleged attendance fraud is described in an investigative report completed by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and obtained by The Messenger through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The agent retired from the FBI before he could be compelled to sit for an interview with OIG investigators.

"Approximately $246,000 of payroll fraud in just over three years — with the employee only working about half of his paid hours — is egregious," Mike Zummer, a former agent who now heads the non-governmental watchdog group Accountability FBI, told The Messenger.

"Considering I worked a case on a police officer who was prosecuted for fraudulently claiming approximately $20,000 of overtime in a two-year period, it raises the question of why this supervisor wasn't prosecuted."

FBI agent's uniform with inscription on a man's back

The heavily redacted OIG report indicates that the watchdog’s investigation — completed in November 2021 — was conducted by its Houston outpost, but the FBI field office and the name of the supervisory special agent are not listed. 

The report gives a breakdown of hours and income the agent claimed over three full years and one partial year and notes the loss to the government in a dollar amount.

In the first year, the agent claimed 1,958 hours, but was present for only 1,026.25, the report states.

"931.75 Hours Missing," the report says, noting a loss to taxpayers of $69,191.

The agent's fraud increased the two following years, with him pulling in $82,781 and $86,902 in income from non-worked hours, the report found.

In a final partial year listed, the agent claimed 191 hours — but was away for 56 percent of that time for a loss to the government of $7,945, the documents state.

The report does not list which years the agent allegedly committed the time fraud. 

In total, the agent claimed more than 3,323 non-worked hours for a total loss to the government of $246,819, the report states.

table of payments to the FBI agent.
The documents obtained by The Messenger included this table of payments made to the supervisory special agent.

Attendance fraud among federal employees is rare, according to a 2019 report by the US Government Accountability Office. The oversight body found 100 substantiated instances of attendance fraud over the course of five years across 24 agencies, including the Department of Justice. 

Investigators from the OIG — who find liability if they determine wrongdoing likely happened — concluded the agent violated a federal felony law with the attendance fraud.

They referred the matter to an unidentified US Attorney's Office, which declined to prosecute the agent.

In interviews with OIG investigators, FBI employees said they realized the supervisory special agent may have been cooking his time sheet because his work couldn't be done remotely.

"Because [redacted] work involved classified information, [redacted] said he did not have the ability to complete his work away from the facility," the report states.

The report also notes the agent worked at two locations while allegedly pulling off the fraud, which Zummer said could have provided cover for the scheme.

"The OIG's reliance on access records for two locations and the sheer amount of fraud suggest this Supervisory Special Agent worked at a site separate from the field office, but in the local area, such as a covert site where the FBI operates its surveillance teams," said Zummer.

"He likely excused his absences from the covert site by falsely claiming he was going to the field office.

"A supervisor in a field office holds a significant amount of authority and influence, which makes this fraud particularly concerning," he added. "Agents commonly refer to becoming a supervisor as taking a 'desk.' So, the OIG could rely on office entry and exit records to prove the fraud."

The FBI declined to comment.

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