It’s no secret that fraud and corruption unfortunately exist at every level of government, but FBI officials in Boston are making moves to reverse that trend. Boston FBI has announced that it will be implementing a program that is aimed at thwarting fraud and corruption on the local, state, and federal levels in the New England area.
The new program, which was announced this past week, includes a toll-free tip line as well as a website dedicated to collecting tips from both the public and the private sector and several billboards notifying the public about the program. The Boston office has also set up a Facebook page dedicated to the program called “Stop Corruption Now”.
Officials with the FBI Division Office in Boston say that one of their top priorities is cracking down on public corruption. They admit it is a challenging prospect since corruption, typically in the form of bribes and other secretive activities, is difficult to detect. That, they say, is where the FBI needs the public’s help.
Vincent Lisi, Special Agent in Charge at the Boston FBI Division Office, says that in regard to exposing individuals who are taking advantage of the public trust, the FBI’s most powerful asset “is a concerned citizen.” Public officials who abuse this trust and “[misuse] taxpayer money to line their own pockets”, he says, need to be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent that the law will allow.
Contrary to what most people probably assume, corruption among government officials doesn’t just happen in big cities but in small towns as well. The recent case in the small town of Chelsea, Maine, for example, involved a Selectwoman there being found guilty this past summer of federal tax fraud, worker’s compensation fraud, and extortion. According to FBI officials, a tip from a local businessman was integral in making them aware of the corruption and eventually securing a conviction against the Selectwoman.