Ex-CIA Official Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

By Derek Kravitz | The story of the CIA officer, his mistress and his wealthy businessman friend appears to have come to an end, with the intelligence agency’s former executive director likely facing about two years behind bars.

Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the former No. 3 official in the CIA, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to one count of wire fraud stemming from sweetheart contracting deals he awarded to a friend and a high-level CIA job he got for his mistress.

Prosecutors say he received $1,000 meals and lavish vacations from his friend, California businessman and GOP donor Brent R. Wilkes, in exchange for helping Wilkes score CIA contracts. Foggo, 53, was originally charged last year with 28 counts of wire and mail fraud, unlawful money transactions and making false statements.

The favors he got from Wilkes included:

— An offer of a “high-level, high-paying” job in Wilkes’s companies after he retired

— Family vacations in Scotland, aboard a private jet, and a trip to a Hawaiian estate, costing $32,000, along with a $4,000 helicopter ride to a round of golf and more than $44,000 in lodging

— A cigar humidor

— Meals at the Capital Grille, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and the Serbian Crown in Washington.

At his Jan. 8 sentencing, Foggo faces up to 20 years in prison for the one count (although prosecutors have recommended he serve only 37 months).

The plea deal comes about three weeks after Foggo threatened to divulge classified information about the identities of numerous agents and programs as part of his defense, prosecutors said.

His attorneys wanted to “portray Foggo as a hero engaged in actions necessary to protect the public from terrorist acts,” prosecutors said at the time. They called his efforts “a thinly disguised attempt to twist this straightforward case into a referendum on the global war on terror,” according to court filings.

Foggo was long considered a pseudo-political appointee by former CIA Director Porter J. Goss, a man who had served with the agency for 25 years in far-flung outposts in Honduras, Austria and Germany and had prided himself in his new role as the watchdog over media leaks by CIA officials. (When told of a book about an agency analyst’s work on a book about the Osama bin Laden case, he is accused of telling the ex-official, Gary Berntsen, that he would “redact the [expletive] out of your book so no one will want to read it.”)

Foggo first was implicated in the corruption scheme back in March 2006, when former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a California Republican, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for accepting bribes and gifts. As part of his sentence, Cunningham admitted using his seats on the House appropriations and intelligence committees to earmark funding for programs intended for business associates, including Wilkes.

The CIA’s inspector general began looking into Foggo’s dealings with Wilkes, a friend from the pair’s high school and college days. At the time, the agency said the review was routine and confirmed that Foggo had attended private poker games with Wilkes at a Washington hotel, but stressed that Foggo said he had done nothing improper. (Wilkes later pleaded guilty to bribery for giving Cunningham money and other gifts in exchange for nearly $90 million in work from the Pentagon. He was sentenced in February to 12 years in prison.)

After Goss was forced to resign in April 2006, Foggo said he would resign, too.

Federal agents then searched Foggo’s seventh-floor suite at CIA headquarters — an event some agency officials described as unprecedented — and hauled away boxes of evidence from his home in the Oakdale Park section of Vienna. Congressional investigators opened up their own probe and he was indicted in February 2007.