By Steve Neavling
A former investigator for the Department of Homeland Security Investigations has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for a host of crimes, ranging from stealing money from the agency and drug dealers to providing sensitive information to an HSI informant in exchange for bribes, the Justice Department announced Monday.
During his sentencing, Anthony Sabaini, 41, of Naperville, Ill., was also ordered Thursday to pay more than $93,000 in restitution to the IRS.
A jury convicted Sabaini in May of illegally structuring bank withdrawals, concealing information from HSI, and filing false tax returns.
Before being charged in 2020, Sabaini worked out of the agency’s field office in suburban Chicago.
“Corrupt law enforcement strikes at the heart of our system of government,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared Hasten and Jonathan Shih argued in the prosecution’s sentencing memorandum. “When individuals in law enforcement break the law, it makes the job of legitimate law enforcement that much harder because it erodes public trust.”
Prosecutors alleged that Sabaini tipped off an HSI informant about sensitive information involving investigations conducted by other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and DEA. In exchange for the information, the informant paid Sabaini at least $50,000.
Sabaini also stole cash from drug dealers and pocketed cash from HSI that had been intended for investigative activity.
Sabaini deposited more than $25,000 using more than 160 transactions to avoid paying more than $10,000, the amount that requires financial institutions to notify the Department of Treasury.
Sabaini also lied on official HSI memos in 2017 and 2018 to protect his relationship with the informant.
In addition, he underreported his income in federal tax returns from 2014 to 2018.