Former FBI agent charged with pocketing bribes from organized crime figure

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LOS ANGELES — An organized crime figure paid an FBI agent $10,000 a month in exchange for sensitive law enforcement information, according to a court documents charging the agent, Babak Broumand, in a conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Broumand was arrested Friday at a market near his home in Lafayette, according to Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI. He retired in January 2019, one month after agents served search warrants at his home and businesses. Broumand worked at the bureau for 20 years, most recently in national security investigations.

In smoky, members-only cigar lounges and the bars of luxurious Beverly Hills hotels, Broumand rubbed shoulders with organized crime figures and their corrupt associates in law enforcement, according to a 40-page affidavit signed by FBI special agent Michael Torbic.

In September 2014, at the Grand Havana cigar lounge in Beverly Hills, Broumand met a lawyer who noticed the agent had expensive tastes. Seeing Broumand was wearing a gold Rolex and sported a Gucci belt, the lawyer later told investigators he saw “an opportunity to recruit” the agent, the affidavit said.

The lawyer, who wasn’t named in the affidavit, is described as an associate of Lev Aslan Dermen, a petroleum magnate convicted last month of conspiring to plunder a half-billion dollars in renewable energy credits from the U.S. Treasury. The lawyer is cooperating with investigators in hopes of receiving leniency for his crimes, which include bank fraud, making false statements and bribing two federal agents, according to Torbic’s affidavit.

His relationship with Broumand turned corrupt in 2015, when he talked with the agent about his salary and asked if he was willing to “do something on the side,” the affidavit said. In exchange for $10,000 a month, paid in $100 bills, Broumand queried the lawyer’s name and others in secret law enforcement databases, which can disclose subjects of investigations conducted by the FBI and other agencies, the affidavit said.


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