Miss. FBI Agent Indicted For Failing to Disclose Hidden Financial Interest in FBI Building

miss mapBy Allan Lengel

A Mississippi FBI agent was indicted Thursday on charges of making  false statements and failing to disclose a conflict of interest in an FBI building he had a financial interest in.

The indictment alleges that FBI agent Philip Halbert Neilson, 49, of Oxford, Miss.,  beginning in 2001 took an active role in the construction and lease of the Oxford FBI Building and failed to disclose that he had a financial interest in the building since 2004.

The indictment also charged that in 2004 and 2005, as the supervisory senior resident agent in charge of the Oxford office, “he was required to truthfully complete an annual report of his assets and income, liabilities, and positions with organizations outside of his FBI employment,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Authorities also charged that NEILSON submitted false financial disclosure reports and in October 2008 lied to an agent of the Dept. of Justice Office of the Inspector General during an interview.

If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, though the guidelines would call for a far lesser sentence.

Deborah Madden, an FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi, said Neilson “is still employed by the FBI” but declined to say whether he was on leave or on the job.

The case is being investigated by Special Agent Susan Howell of the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and Assistant United States Attorneys René Salomon and Rich Bourgeois of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.

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