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ATF Agent Accused of Gambling with Government Funds While on Duty

Via Wikipedia.

Via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An ATF agent is accused of using a government-issued credit card to gamble at the casino while on duty.

But the Washington Free Beacon reports that the agent was later promoted and is now a special agent in charge, according to an investigation by the inspector general.

The investigation revealed that the agent “gambled on duty, misused his government travel card to facilitate his gambling, and misused his assigned government vehicle by using it to travel to casinos.”

“By gambling while on duty, the [Special Agent in Charge] SAC violated federal regulations that prohibit federal employees from gambling while on duty,” the agency watchdog said in a summary of the investigation posted Monday. “In addition, the SAC violated ATF policy by, among other things, misusing his government travel card to obtain cash advances to gamble, and using his assigned government vehicle to travel to casinos to gamble, which is not an ‘official purpose’ for which use of the government vehicle is authorized.”

Still, the inspector general reported, the agent was never prosecuted.

Judge: FBI Agents Should Not Have Posed As Internet Technicians in Gambling Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI crossed the line when agents cut off the Internet connection at a Las Vegas luxury villa and then posed as repairmen in order to access information from the computers of people suspected of running illegal betting operations, a federal magistrate said, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in a non-binding recommendation to a district judge that Wei Seng Phua and his son Darren were subjected to a search based on false and misleading evidence that the FBI used to obtain a warrant.

“The investigators’ suspicions that Phua was engaged in illegal sports betting at Caesars Palace may be borne out by the evidence recovered in the execution of the warrant,” Leen said. “However, a search warrant is never validated by what its execution recovers.”

While requesting a warrant, agents never disclosed that they obtained the evidence by posing as repairmen.

Phua and others were arrested in charges of operating an illegal gambling hub involving World Cup games.

Ex-FBI Agent Groman May See His Book Made Into a Movie

Herman Groman

Herman Groman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Herman Groman,  a retired FBI agent in Las Vegas, may be going Hollywood.

Groman, who heads up security at the Orleans Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas,  recently authored his first novel, a suspense thriller called “Pigeon Spring”.

Now, he says  producer-director Joseph Merhi read the book and wants to make a movie out of it. Interestingly, the boook features a  key character Matt Steel, who happens to be  an ex-FBI agent who is also a director of security at a Las Vegas hotel.

Groman said he has spoken to  Merhi a couple times and has another meeting scheduled Thursday in Las Vegas to talk about the film.

groman book

“I’m excited about it,” Groman told ticklethewire.com. , saying that the Merhi told him he was confident it was all going to happen.

He said the producer’s “vision is that he’d like to make a feature film and he envisions a spin off TV series based on the book.”  Merhi has produced a number of movies including “The Whole Ten Yards”  with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.

Groman retired from the FBI in 2005.