Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations sometimes have to go the extra mile in order to get their man (or woman, as the case may be). What agents did in Philadelphia last month certainly qualifies as one of those times.
FBI agents arranged and carried out in part a fake but elaborately detailed criminal trial in an effort to catch a judge in the act of attempting to influence the case into a preconceived outcome. Judge Joseph Waters entered a guilty plea during his real arraignment last week on charges of wire fraud and mail fraud.
The entire sting was set up by FBI agents who had been investigating Waters for corruption. They set up a fake case that involved a fictional person named David P. Khoury and which stated that Khoury had been arrested in 2012 for carrying a firearm without a license. The name David P. Khoury is indeed fictional but the individual portraying him in the faux criminal trial was not. Instead it was an undercover FBI agent whose identity has not been released because of the nature of his position with the Bureau.
Not even prosecutors had been made privy to the fact that the trial was fake and hence were under the misapprehension that they too were part of a real criminal trial.
According to reports, a campaign donor who was working in an undisclosed capacity with FBI agents contacted Waters and offered him $1,000 to “help Khoury out.” Waters subsequently asked another judge who was scheduled to hear the case if she would help out by reducing Khoury’s charge to a misdemeanor. That judge is currently under investigation.
Waters, however, is taking the brunt of the ramifications for instigating the falsification. According to a spokesperson with the FBI Office in Philadelphia, situations like this are rare for the Bureau and require authorization from the highest levels of the FBI as well as the US Justice Department.