1996-12-31 - FinCEN, and WitSec are criminal agencies

Header Data

From: “Timothy C. May” <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 0532bf67bc78c2f8c84d6e25d9da32eedabb972b704b572a75d5c7fea9fc50df
Message ID: <v03007800aeef07e92cfb@[]>
Reply To: <9612311536.AA11070@cow.net>
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-31 18:24:50 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 10:24:50 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 10:24:50 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: FinCEN, and WitSec are criminal agencies
In-Reply-To: <9612311536.AA11070@cow.net>
Message-ID: <v03007800aeef07e92cfb@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Thanks to the anonymous poster of this WSJ article, "Obscure Treasury Unit
Helps DEA Uncover Scheme," I've added a name to the thread, which the
remailed post did not have.

At 10:36 AM -0500 12/31/96, Bovine Remailer wrote:

>WSJ, December 30, 1996:  Obscure Treasury Unit Helps DEA Uncover Scheme

>The St. Louis case became a prime example of how Fincen, the nation's
>smallest intelligence agency, brings the latest in high-tech firepower to
>the never-ending battle against money-laundering schemes. The agency,
>created in April 1990, uses a staff of 200 analysts and agents to offer state-
>of-the-art computer tracking and analysis to state and federal agents and
>prosecutors, giving them more time to work the cases from the street.

FinCEN is a very intriguing agency, one which we've talked about several
times on this list. (I first vaguely heard of it in 1990 or '91, but there
was little press about it for a long time. An early issue of "Wired"
carried a comprehensive article on it, sometime late in '93.) FinCEN is a
multi-agency task force sort of thing, located in the Northern Virginia
complex of surveillance agencies, credit reporting agencies (hardly a
coincidence that TRW Credit, Transunion, and Equifax have major offices
within a few miles of FinCEN, the National Reconnaissance Organization,
CIA, etc.), etc.

If you want to know who's likely to be pushing for limits on encryption of
financial transactions, look no further than FinCEN.

>Enter James Petrakis, a graying, 47-year-old Fincen investigator, who flew
>out from Washington. Mr. Petrakis designed a computer program for the case
>that could follow the money as it flowed through companies -- some phony,
>some real -- and through people who transferred ownership of some 30 pieces
>of local real estate that seemed to be involved.

EPIC, the El Paso Information Center, was orginally focussed on DEA types
of narco-surveillance, and developed several programs for sniffing the
aether for evidence that citizen-units were engaging in trade which the CIA
had granted itself a monopoly on.

>Because the business also trafficked in guns, the Treasury Department's
>Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms was working on the case, too. Robert
>Nosbisch, the top bureau agent, agreed that tracking the money was going to
>be key. "The objective in a case like this is to get anyone who has a
>significant role into jail and take all of their assets," he says.
>                               ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>   [What do you do when the highwaymen wear badges?]

Civil forfeiture is of course becoming a favored way of stealing assets
without actually having to go to court. In many cases, charges are dropped,
but the assets are not returned....the victim is forced to try to sue to
get the assets back. This is the modern version of governments and kings
issueing "letters of marque and reprisal," i.e., authorizing privateers to
act as "pirates," keeping a cut of what they grab. (Sir Francis Drake being
an historical example.)

>There were other odd things. Although Mr. Jones was 43 (in 1995), his
>credit records and other personal history only went back to 1985. Before
>he had no records. Mr. Jones's biggest drug moves usually happened on
>government holidays, when the DEA and ATF staffs were slim. Mr. Moore had a
>theory: Mr. Jones was probably a federal informant, a man who had worked with
>federal agents in drug cases before.
>   [More like a graduate of the Federal Witness Protection Program, I'd say.
>    Seems odd that they want to ID us down to the last gnat's eyebrow while
>    making up IDs for their buddies.]

Indeed, this is likely. As with the guy who blew away his stock broker in
1987 in Florida...turned out he had been set up with a phony I.D. and
falsified credit history (courtesy of Equifax, Transunion, TRW complicity,
one has to presume) and given a million dollars of spending money. This is
the "Witness Security Program," run by the U.S. Marshall's Service.

Can a person sue WitSec, or TRW Credit, etc., for falsifying such records?

(The credit reporting agencies immediately can spot the "ghosts" who
suddenly pop into existence, as when WitSec clients and spies are given
cover identities...this is a reason for the cozy relationship and the
"classified" status of many credit agency projects. Think about it.)

Someday the records of those 60,000 folks in the WitSec program will be
"liberated" and placed anonymously on the Net for the perusal of their
neighbors, their former Mafia families, and so on. I can't wait. Of course,
about 15,000 of them will likely be killed in short order. I also can't
wait for that.

FinCen, WitSec, etc. are examples of fundamentally criminal agencies, and
the bigwigs in each probably have already earned severe punishment when
their misdeeds become more fully apparent. I don't advocate blowing up
their buildings, a la OKC, but I certainly understand the sentiment.

--Tim May

Just say "No" to "Big Brother Inside"
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."