Pat Fitzgerald Boots One

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.”

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