News and Press Releases

Massachusetts Woman Pleads Guilty to Posing as FBI Agent

May 11, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Brenna Marie Reilly, 29, of Holyoke, Mass., pleaded guilty today to impersonating an FBI agent.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Shawn Henry, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga.

            Reilly was indicted on March 25, 2010 by a federal grand jury of impersonation of an officer or employee of the United States.  Reilly faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison when she is sentenced on Aug. 6, 2010. 

            In a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Reilly admitted that although she had never been an employee of the FBI, between August 2009 and March 2010, in Arlington County, Va., she represented herself as an employee of the FBI.  Reilly told one neighbor that she had been employed by the FBI since she was 18 years old, and told other neighbors that she was a division director of the FBI where she was employed in a supervisory capacity.   
            In December 2009, Reilly hired an individual as her administrative assistant, and she fabricated a document detailing the terms and conditions of his employment.  Upon being offered the position, the individual resigned from his current job. Believing he was working for the FBI, the individual performed various tasks at Reilly’s direction, including transcribing fictitious interrogations of suspects that she claimed she had conducted, and the editing of condolence letters that Reilly claimed she had drafted to the families of officers who had died in a recent bombing in Afghanistan. 

            The individual maintained what he believed was his employment with the FBI for approximately three weeks, but did not receive any compensation for his labor, although Reilly told him that he would be paid as soon as a problem with his paperwork was straightened out.  
            This case was investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Justin Gelfand and Assistant United States Attorney Patricia Haynes are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on

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