FBI Agents Association Lauds Proposed Legislation to Use Wiretaps for Probes involving Government Fraud

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — FBI Agents Association President Konrad Motyka on Tuesday lauded proposed legislation that would allow investigators to use court-authorized wiretaps for fraud cases involving government programs like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.)  introduced language last Friday in bill H.R. 1793, the Clean-Up Government Act of 2011, that will allow wiretaps in such fraud cases.

Current law does not include government fraud on the list of  serious crimes in which investigators can obtain wiretaps.  While it is not  impossible, it is much more challenging to obtain a wiretap for government fraud cases, a spokesman for the association explained.

The new legislation will make it much easier.

Rep. Sensenbrenner

“The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) supports Chairman Sensenbrenner’s inclusion of language in H.R. 1793 that would add the crime of theft from government programs to the list of serious crimes that Congress previously recognized could be investigated using court-authorized wiretaps,” Motyka said in a statement.

“Current law makes it difficult to use wiretaps in the investigation of crimes involving government programs,” he added. ” It is an unfortunate reality that in these difficult economic times criminals are taking advantage of programs intended to help hardworking Americans.

“In order to effectively fight fraud related to large government programs such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and programs using stimulus funds, Congress should include crimes against taxpayers in the statutory list so that courts will have specific authority to grant wiretaps.”

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