Abscam

Abscam by Aggie Kenny

Abscam was an FBI sting operation run from the Bureau’s Long Island office in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation. The investigation ultimately led to the conviction of a U.S. senator, six members of the House of Representatives, one member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, New Jersey, and an inspector for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

In 1978, the FBI hired Melvin Weinberg, a convicted con artist, to help plan and conduct the operation, forming Abdul Enterprises, Ltd., as its front company for the investigation. FBI employees posed as Karim Abdul Rahman, a fictional Middle Eastern sheikh, in videotaped meetings with targeted government officials. The agents posing as Rahman offered the officials money in return for political favors such as political asylum in the U.S., involvement in an investment scheme for a high-class hotel, and help in transferring money out of his country.

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