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Published by the American Bar Association (ABA), Operation Greylord: The True Story of an Untrained Undercover Agent and America's Biggest Corruption Bust covers one of the largest and most successful undercover investigations into corruption in the history of the U.S.
In 1980, Terrence Hake was a young assistant prosecutor in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago, Illinois. In April of that year, he agreed to assist the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office in an investigation of the county court system, known nationwide to be a hotbed of bribery, corruption, and mob ties.
For three and a half years, untrained and with ever-diminishing naiveté, Hake worked undercover posing as a corrupt prosecutor by accepting bribes from attorneys to “fix” cases for the criminals they were defending. Later, as an attorney in private practice, he made payoffs to judges and court personnel to arrange the dismissal of cases. Throughout the investigation, Hake had to befriend people he knew he would betray, wear a wire in bars and to racetracks, and help with many of the FBI's unprecedented actions, such as bugging a judge's chambers.
The investigation, known as “Greylord,” became the longest and most successful undercover investigation in FBI history, and the largest corruption bust ever in the U.S. It resulted in bribery and tax charges being filed against 103 judges, lawyers, and other court personnel, and, eventually, three suicides and more than seventy indictments.
When the last Greylord trial concluded in 1994, Terrence Hake had testified at the trials of 23 defendants and was officially an FBI agent. Operation Greylord has never before been detailed by an insider in the investigation.