An indictment at the CIA

Former No. 3 official charged with fraud, money laundering in offshoot of Duke Cunningham case.

By Tim Grieve
Published February 13, 2007 9:01PM (EST)

A federal grand jury in San Diego has just handed down conspiracy, wire fraud and money-laundering charges against Dusty Foggo, the former No. 3 man at the CIA, and defense contractor Brent Wilkes, a previously unindicted co-conspirator in the bribery case that sent Republican Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham to a federal penitentiary.

Foggo and Wilkes have been buddies since college; each was the other's "best man," and each named a son for the other. But the grand jury alleges that their friendship went beyond the wine locker they shared at a Washington restaurant. In today's indictment, the grand jury says that Foggo used his influence at and information from the CIA to steer government contracts to Wilkes. In the process, the grand jury says, Wilkes created and used "shell men and straw companies" to hide the fact that he was benefiting from Foggo's handiwork.

What did Foggo get in return? A "high-level, high-paying job offer" with Wilkes' company; a $60,000 private-jet-and-helicopter family vacation to Scotland -- what is it with tainted Republicans and Scotland? -- plus a $32,000 trip to Hawaii; and a slew of fancy restaurant meals and other treats.

The best line in the indictment? Just before Foggo is alleged to have done some fixing on behalf of one of Wilkes' subordinates, Wilkes sends the subordinate an e-mail message in which he says he has just "talked to the big guy" who is going to "sprinkle some magic dust today that should solve your problem."

Foggo and Wilkes could use some of that magic dust now; they're expected to surrender themselves at an arraignment in San Diego later this week.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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