DOCUMENT: Evidence

Pat Fitzgerald Boots One

U.S. Attorney accidentally releases names of sources in fraud case

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Pat Fitzgerald Boots One

JANUARY 7--In a remarkable screw-up, a Department of Justice official today accidentally distributed to the media a document containing the names of nearly 20 confidential witnesses interviewed during a federal probe targeting the operators of a fraudulent investment scheme.

In announcing felony charges against two men for their roles in an alleged $15 million Ponziesque swindle, the spokesman for Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (he of Rod Blagojevich- and Scooter Libby-prosecuting fame) e-mailed reporters a 62-page U.S. District Court complaint filed against John Walsh and Charles Martin, principals of the now-defunct One World Capital Group.

Included in the document was a one-page key that identified by name sources referred to in the complaint only by monikers such as 'Employee A,' 'Customer D,' or 'Individual F.' The inadvertent disclosure of the sources--former One World employees, customers, and 'other' individuals who spoke with FBI and IRS agents--caused Fitzgerald spokesman Randall Samborn to send an urgent follow-up email asking journalists to destroy the complaint due to the 'non-public information disclosing the identities of persons not named in the affidavit.'

A copy of the source key, which we've strategically blurred, can be found here. (2 pages)