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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 5, 2016

Former FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sentenced for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice During Bulger Trial

BOSTON – A former Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the FBI’s Boston Office was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with perjury and obstruction of justice regarding his testimony at the 2013 trial of James “Whitey” Bulger.  

Robert Fitzpatrick, 76, of Charlestown, R.I., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV to 24 months of probation and a fine of $12,500.  In May 2016, Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty to six counts of perjury and six counts of obstruction of justice.

Fitzpatrick, in his capacity as ASAC of the Boston Division, had overall supervisory responsibility of the organized crime program in Boston between 1981 and 1986—a time period in which Bulger, while an active FBI informant, was involved in eight murders.  

Fitzpatrick, who is the author of Betrayal, Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought To Bring Him Down, was called to testify at the Bulger trial on July 29 and July 30, 2013.  In pleading guilty, Fitzpatrick admitted that he lied when he testified at Bulger’s trial that he tried to end Bulger’s relationship with the FBI and target Bulger for prosecution but was overruled by higher authorities in the FBI.    

 Specifically, Fitzpatrick admitted that contrary to his sworn testimony at the Bulger trial:

  1. his assignment to Boston in 1980 as ASAC was not a special mission ordered by the Assistant Director of the FBI because there were problems in the office, but rather a routine reassignment;

  2. Bulger never said, “I’m not an informant” or otherwise denied being an informant when he met with Fitzpatrick;

  3. Fitzpatrick never tried to close Bulger as an FBI informant;

  4. Fitzpatrick was demoted from ASAC because he falsified official FBI reports in connection with a shooting incident, not because he reported corruption;

  5. Fitzpatrick did not arrest mob boss Gennaro Angiulo; and

  6. Fitzpatrick did not find or recover the rifle James Earl Ray used to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN in 1968.

    United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Ronald G. Gardella, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, New York Field Office, made the announcement today.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zachary R. Hafer and Fred M. Wyshak of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated August 5, 2016