Chapter 1

The Successful Investigator

“Some investigators have 20 years of experience; others have one year of experience 20 times.”

–Senior federal agent

War Story 1.1

During the later years of my federal law enforcement career (2006–2008), I was investigating several high-ranking U.S. military generals and other military officers for allegedly applying undue influence on lower-ranking government contracting officials to circumvent the contract award process. As a result of their influence, many government contracts worth several millions of dollars were awarded to favored contractors (including retired military officers' companies) sometimes at highly inflated prices, and often they were awarded without required competition.

The assigned federal prosecutor was also an officer in the military reserves. During the investigation, the prosecutor surprisingly ordered me to stop conducting interviews, stop writing reports, and stop analyzing other improperly awarded government contracts. My own supervisor, who was also an officer in the military reserves, took things a step further and ordered me to completely close the investigation!

As implied in the preface of this book, I'm a bit of a maverick—especially when it allows for the opportunity for good to triumph over evil. So despite my instructions, I just kept right on investigating, conducting interviews, writing reports, and examining other government contracts. In the end, I obtained evidence indicating that some of the highest-ranking ...

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