10 months ago
This is the tale of a James Bond–loving Wall Street informant that could have been an espionage flick in its own right.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Guy Gentile, who had run a successful online stock brokerage, had come under suspicion of the FBI of duping investors out of millions. The agency then snatched Gentile and turned him into an informant—but with the tacit agreement that his charges would be reduced (or disappeared) once he started to produce results.
And produce he did. For three years, the FBI used Gentile to target stock scammers such as Manhattan lawyer Adam Gottbetter, who ended up admitting to securities fraud, paid million in fines, and spent time in jail. Gentile got so good at his job as an informant, that he asked to take on more and more undercover gigs. The FBI wound up giving him listening devices like a “realistic-looking Starbucks gift card that recorded audio,” notes Bloomberg.
But after nabbing Gottbetter—and dozens of others—the FBI still wanted more. The agency then reneged on the original agreement, but Gentile—just shy of his 40th James Bond–themed birthday—got off. It turns out the FBI hadn’t been entirely ethical in its handling of Gentile.
How’d Gentile do it? Read Zeke Faux’s full feature here.