CIA Officer Was A 'Con Man,' Prosecutors Say
Check out the court filing on the Foggo case below
As lifelong best friends, CIA executive director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo and California defense contractor Brent Wilkes did nearly everything together. Their families went on overseas vacations to Scotland and Hawaii, shared meals at Washington restaurants, such as the Capital Grille, and frequently exchanged e-mails and phone calls about their various goings-on.
But prosecutors also found that for more than three years, Foggo, the No. 3 official at the agency, steered millions of government contracts to Wilkes in exchange for gifts and favors -- for "a taste of the life that awaited him" after he retired from the agency, according to court documents (PDF) released this week.
In those same court documents, Foggo is likened to a charismatic "con man" who was never "truly honest." Prosecutors say a sense of "narcissism and patriotism" drove his actions; a former supervisor of Foggo, who knew him for decades, said he "was seriously flawed, ethically and morally, who would cut corners to achieve his aims."
For his part, Foggo blamed Wilkes and said his crimes constituted a "lapse in judgment."
Foggo pleaded guilty in September in federal court to one count of wire fraud stemming from sweetheart contracting deals he awarded to his friend and a high-level CIA job he got for his mistress.
Prosecutors say he received $1,000 meals and lavish vacations from Wilkes in exchange for helping Wilkes score CIA contracts. Foggo, 53, was originally charged last year with 28 counts of wire and mail fraud, unlawful money transactions and making false statements.
The favors he got from Wilkes included an offer of a "high-level, high-paying" job in Wilkes's companies after he retired; family vacations in Scotland, aboard a private jet, and a trip to a Hawaiian estate; a cigar humidor; and meals at the Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris Steak House and the Serbian Crown in Washington.
At his sentencing on Thursday, Foggo faces up to 20 years in prison for the one count (although prosecutors have recommended he serve only 37 months).
The plea deal was announced in September, about three weeks after Foggo threatened to divulge classified information about the identities of numerous agents and programs as part of his defense, prosecutors said.
His attorneys wanted to "portray Foggo as a hero engaged in actions necessary to protect the public from terrorist acts," prosecutors said at the time. They called his efforts "a thinly disguised attempt to twist this straightforward case into a referendum on the global war on terror," according to court filings.
Foggo was long considered a pseudo-political appointee by former CIA Director Porter J. Goss, a man who had served with the agency for 25 years in far-flung outposts in Honduras, Austria and Germany and had prided himself in his new role as the watchdog over media leaks by CIA officials.
Foggo first was implicated in the corruption scheme back in March 2006, when former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a California Republican, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for accepting bribes and gifts. As part of his sentence, Cunningham admitted using his seats on the House appropriations and intelligence committees to earmark funding for programs intended for business associates, including Wilkes.
The CIA's inspector general began looking into Foggo's dealings with Wilkes, a friend from the pair's high school and college days. At the time, the agency said the review was routine and confirmed that Foggo had attended private poker games with Wilkes at a Washington hotel, but stressed that Foggo said he had done nothing improper. (Wilkes later pleaded guilty to bribery for giving Cunningham money and other gifts in exchange for nearly $90 million in work from the Pentagon. He was sentenced in February to 12 years in prison.)
Federal agents then searched Foggo's seventh-floor suite at CIA headquarters -- an event some agency officials described as unprecedented -- and hauled away boxes of evidence from his home in the Oakdale Park section of Vienna. Congressional investigators opened up their own probe and he was indicted in February 2007.
By Derek Kravitz |
February 25, 2009; 12:52 PM ET
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