- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Boston businessman faced a federal investigation into whether he had bribed contracting officials to steer lucrative deals his way. So he responded the only way he knew how: bribing an FBI agent to call off the case.

Unfortunately for the bureau, the agent took him up on it, accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars for trying to prevent charges against the businessman. Now former special agent Robert Lustyik Jr., 51, a 24-year veteran of the agency, has pleaded guilty to eleven counts of fraud, obstruction and conspiracy.

“No one is above the law, no matter what rank or badge a person might hold,” said Leslie Caldwell, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Corruption by those entrusted to enforce the law strikes at the heart of our criminal justice system, and it will not be tolerated.”

Prosecutors said Mr. Lustyik and a civilian accomplice tried to list the Boston businessman, Michael Taylor, as an informant and convince FBI leaders that indicting Mr. Taylor on criminal charges would harm national security.

“This case lays bare a disgraceful attempt by a veteran FBI agent to get rich by thwarting an ongoing investigation,” Ms. Caldwell said. “The Justice Department will fight corruption wherever we find it, even within the ranks of federal law enforcement.”

Documents from the Justice Department included several messages sent between the three men. Mr. Taylor promised Mr. Lustyik “more money than you can believe” in exchange for his help keeping out of prison.

Mr. Lustyik, meanwhile, sent messages to his accomplice including “I think we are rich by Christmas!!” and instructing him to ask Mr. Taylor for more money because “he knows we are keeping him outta jail.”

When Mr. Taylor gave the accomplice $150,000 in cash during an overseas trip, Mr. Lustyik offered to meet his partner at JFK Airport in New York and use his official FBI credentials to get both men past security so they would not be searched by custom officials, prosecutors said.

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