A former FBI agent and two others including a Bangladeshi have been charged in New York with engaging in a bribery scheme to secure confidential, internal law enforcement documents about a prominent individual in Bangladesh.
Rizve Ahmed, 34, a native of Bangladesh also known as Caesar, sought confidential information about a Bangladeshi politician, and to locate and harm him/her and others associated with him/her, according to news release of US Department of Justice.
The release does not mention the name of the Bangladeshi politician whom it identified as “a prominent citizen of Bangladesh who was affiliated with an opposing political party”.
Robert Lustyik, 50, a former FBI special agent in the White Plains Resident Agency, is accused in a criminal complaint of conspiring with his friend, Johannes Thaler, 49, of soliciting cash payments from Thaler’s acquaintance, Ahmed, in exchange for confidential, internal law enforcement documents and information that Lustyik could access by virtue of his position at the FBI.
Ahmed and Thaler were arrested Friday on the charges in the complaint.
They were scheduled to be presented later in the day before US Magistrate Judge George A Yanthis in the federal court in White Plains.
Lustyik is currently detained in connection with an unrelated indictment in US District Court for the District of Utah, where he will be initially presented on the charges in the complaint.
Lustyik, Thaler, and Ahmed are each charged in a four-count complaint. Count one charges Lustyik, Thaler, and Ahmed with conspiring to bribe a public official. Count two charges Lustyik and Thaler with soliciting and receiving bribes. Count three charges Ahmed with bribing a public official and offering to bribe a public official. Count four charges Lustyik with unlawfully disclosing a Suspicious Activity Report.
If convicted, Ahmed, of Fairfield County, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Lustyik, of Westchester County, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Thaler, of Fairfield County, Conn., faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to the complaint, from about September 2011 through March 2012, Lustyik, Thaler and Ahmed engaged in a bribery scheme on behalf of Ahmed, who sought confidential law enforcement information about a prominent Bangladeshi who was affiliated with an opposing political party.
As part of the scheme, Lustyik and Thaler exchanged text messages, including messages about how to pressure Ahmed to pay them additional money in exchange for confidential information. For example, in text messages, Lustyik told Thaler, “we need to push [Ahmed] for this meeting and get that 40 gs quick . . . . I will talk us into getting the cash . . . . I will work my magic . . . . We r sooooooo close.”
Thaler responded, “I know. It’s all right there in front of us. Pretty soon we’ll be having lunch in our oceanfront restaurant . . . .”
As another example, in or about late January 2012, Lustyik, upon learning that Ahmed was considering using a different source to obtain confidential information about the Bangladeshi politician, texted Thaler, “I want to kill [Ahmed] . . . . I hung my [***] out the window n we got nothing? . . . . Tell [Ahmed], I’ve got [Bangladeshi politician's] number and I’m pissed. . . . I will put a wire on n get [Ahmed and his associates] to admit they want [a Bangladeshi politician] offed n we sell it to [Bangladeshi politician].”
According to the complaint, Lustyik and Thaler accepted at least $1,000 from Ahmed in exchange for confidential FBI information, including a Suspicious Activity Report.
The complaint also alleges that Lustyik and Thaler schemed to obtain monthly cash bribes from Ahmed, in increments of tens of thousands of dollars, in exchange for the provision of additional confidential law enforcement information about the individual in Bangladesh and for assistance in having criminal charges against a Bangladeshi political figure dismissed.