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Press Release

Minneapolis Man Sentenced to Prison for Impersonating an FBI Agent, Lying to Victim about a Fake Terrorism Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minneapolis man has been sentenced to 10 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release for impersonating a federal officer. Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Eric C. Tostrud sentenced the defendant.

According to court documents, on July 24, 2017, Bernard Holmes, 67, pretended to be a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Holmes spoofed his telephone number to make it appear that he was calling his victim from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. Holmes provided the victim with a fake name, “FBI Special Agent John Tidwell,” and a fake FBI badge number. Holmes falsely stated that he was investigating terrorism-related conduct involving the victim's household, including terrorism evidence that supposedly originated from a computer and IP address at the victim's house. In his fake capacity, Holmes asked questions of the victim using highly charged words, like “ISIS,” “terroristic,” and the “Patriot Act,” in furtherance of the supposed terrorism investigation.

On October 20, 2021, Holmes pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a federal officer.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Bloomington Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew S. Ebert prosecuted the case.

Updated March 8, 2022