A Matter of the Heart: Did FBI Agent Fall for Confidential Source?

May 26, 2011

On May 17, 2011, a federal indictment was unsealed in federal court in Manhattan, New York, charging Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") Special Agent Adrian Busby, 37, of El Paso, Texas, with two counts of making false statements. Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of the greater of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Busby voluntarily surrendered to authorities in El Paso, Texas and will be arraigned there in federal court.

NOTE: The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Intimate Source

Allegedly, beginning in late 2007, Busby served as the case agent in a mortgage fraud investigation being conducted by the FBI's New York Division. In connection with that investigation, from January 10, 2008, through September 18, 2008, Busby used an individual as a confidential source of information (the "Confidential Source"). In and of itself, a common practice. However, the Indictment alleges that starting in 2008, Busby engaged in an intimate relationship with the Confidential Source.

The Plot Thickens

Although not identified in the government's May 17, 2011, press release concerning Busby's indictment, according to FBI agent Adrian Busby charged with lying to protect married lover from identity theft charges (New York Daily News, May 17, 2011) :

[T]he Justice Department opened an investigation in 2009 into whether Busby crossed the line with former real estate loan officer Yanet Salazar.

Her jilted husband, Yanko Belliard, tipped off investigators, accusing the G-man of seducing his wife after she agreed to help feds looking into corrupt real-estate dealings in Queens.

Salazar was eventually convicted of identity theft and related charges. . .

Getting in Deeper 

The Indictment alleges that on January 10, 2008, in a "Confidential Human Source (CHS) Opening Communication," Busby falsely stated that the Confidential Source was not the subject or target of any criminal investigation. Contrary to his alleged statements, the Indictment asserts that Busby knew that the Confidential Source was the subject or target of an ongoing New York City Police Department and the Queens County District Attorney's Office investigation.

On February 5, 2008, the Confidential Source was arrested by the New York City Police Department and prosecuted by the Queens County District Attorney's Office for identity theft and related charges. The Indictment alleges that Busby actively assisted with her criminal defense and, on multiple occasions,  met with her defense attorney.

In December 2009, during the Confidential Source's trial, in violation of FBI regulations, Busby allegedly provided her defense attorney with various documents among which were confidential, law enforcement-sensitive reports ("Reports") related to her case. Notwithstanding such assistance, on December 15, 2009, after a jury trial, the Confidential Source was convicted.

Following the conviction, the Indictment alleges that Busby falsely stated in a December 22, 2009, FBI report that he had not intentionally provided the defense attorney with the Reports, which the government now contends was a lie.