"We will do it very easily."
Thus described the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Douglas Leff, the investigation of phantom employees in the Capitol just two months before the first arrests of that case occurred this Thursday.
Although that inquiry was already advanced when it was referred by state authorities, the fact is that Leff's main area of competence is cases in which he has to trace money, from corrupt officials, bankers or gangsters.
Leff has specialized in organized crime, money laundering, terrorist financing and asset confiscation investigations.
Before arriving in Puerto Rico, the official dismantled the band of the DeCavalcante family, the mafia known as "La Cosa Nostra" in New York City, which inspired the HBO series "The Sopranos".
Leff was the agent of the case and managed thousands of hours of records on bribes paid to government officials and trade unions.
The head of the organization – the real life "Tony Soprano" – collaborated and Leff spent nine months interviewing him in a "safe place".
He was also the agent of a huge case of corruption in the construction sector in New York linked to the "Familia Colombo" pact, also of "La Cosa Nostra".
Leff was responsible for the investigation which revealed payments to phantom employees, money laundering and dozens of companies participating in the scheme.
He was also part of the team that dismantled the corruption network in New York City's Department of Buildings, where inspectors received millions of dollars in bribes to approve the certificates needed to start building real estate.
Meanwhile, under his direction at the FBI office in New York, the federal agency has managed to decipher the codes they used in financial institutions to apply municipal bond offers, which has brought to the arrest of at least 19 bankers.
Before joining the FBI, Leff was the federal special prosecutor in the eastern district of New York between 2003 and 2009, when he quarreled in cases of organized crime, narcotics trafficking and electronic fraud.
He came to serve as an assistant to the New York district attorney, where he handled the investigation and the charge of crimes and violent crimes.
In 2005 he received an award from the Association of Advocates General for his work in a series of complex cases of money laundering and terrorist financing.
Between 2009 and 2011, he was assigned to the headquarters of the FBI, where he directed the Financial Crime Unit, where he investigated cases of fraud, identity theft and money laundering in society , insurance and financial institutions.
In addition to news articles, his presentation, published by the School of Law of Columbia, describes – like other things – examples of public corruption schemes. One of these includes features similar to the charges in the case of phantom employees.
Stresses that "corrupt contracting officials create hedging companies", to which these officials grant government contracts without auctions, and then withdraw the money from such entities through "personal loans, family allowances, etc."
"The work was contracted or never given or was done by a non-union employee who was hired with less money from the corrupt official," he warned.
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