Joe Bruno on the Mob – FBI pays out $2.1 million reward for Bulger

Well it looks like Keith Messina might have gotten his money after all.

In a previous blog I wrote that Messina has complained to the FBI that he should be entitled to part of the $2.1 million reward for information that led to the arrest of Bulger in Santa Monica, California.

I previously wrote:

Messina was vacationing in Sana Monica with his wife and three children, when he spotted a tanned, shirtless elderly man, dressed in shorts, sporting a gold necklace, and holding a book, leaning against a post on the pier. Messina was wearing a Boston Celtic jersey, and as he passed, Messina said the elderly man yelled at him, “Where are you from, Boston? (Why Bulger, who was supposed to be in hiding, would start a conversation with a stranger in Santa Monica, is hard to believe., but apparently true.)

The two men allegedly started talking Boston sports, and when Messina left, he realized he had been talking to Whitey Bulger, a man wanted by the FBI for 13 years at the time. Messina immediately called a tip into Fox’s America’s Most Wanted, and was assured the tip was passed on to the FBI. But Messina never heard from the FBI, and was startled to find out Bulger had been arrested in 2011, exactly where Messina had told America’s Most Wanted Bulger could be found.

When Messina contacted the FBI for the $2 million reward, he was told that someone from Iceland had provided them the tip in 2011, after they had watched a TV advertisement, paid for by the FBI with taxpayers money, targeting Greig, rather than Bulger. The FBI said that the unidentified person, allegedly a lady who had met Greig in Santa Monica, had already been paid the money Messina thought was rightfully his.

“They would have caught him years ago but nobody called me in regards to my tip,” Messina said during a telephone interview with The Boston Globe.

However, The FBI recently released this statement:

“As of Friday, September 23, 2011, the FBI has paid this reward money to more than one individual,” the bureau said, without disclosing any information about the parties collecting the reward.

More than one person likely means Messina and the lady from Iceland both split the $2.1 million reward for giving up Bulger. But so far, neither the FBI, nor Messina, would verify that this was, in fact, the truth.

The article below can be seen at:

FBI pays out $2.1 million reward for Bulger

(AFP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — The FBI has paid out $2.1 million in reward money for the information that led to the capture of feared Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, according to the bureau.

The Boston FBI office last week got the green light to disburse $2 million for Bulger and an additional $100,000 in reward money for his companion, Catherine Greig.

“As of Friday, September 23, 2011, the FBI has paid this reward money to more than one individual,” the bureau said, without disclosing any information about the parties collecting the reward.

Bulger, who is charged with 19 murders in the 1970s and 80s in Boston, was arrested in June in Santa Monica, California, where he had been living under an assumed name with long-term girlfriend Greig, 60.

Police found some $800,000 in cash and a “fairly big arsenal” of weapons in Bulger’s modest apartment after his arrest, law enforcement sources said.

Bulger, an 81-year-old Irish-American, whose life inspired a gritty Hollywood movie, pleaded not guilty to the string of murder charges at a court appearance in July.

Greig, who is accused of helping to shield Bulger during his time on the run, was indicted by a federal grand jury and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Bulger fled Boston in January 1995 after being tipped off by an FBI contact that he was about to be arrested. He was spotted in London in 2002 and in California in 2000 and 2005, but had managed to evade arrest.

After he fled, it emerged that he had been a long-time FBI informant about the mafia, fueling suspicion about the agency’s fruitless efforts to find him.

Bulger became the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Departed,” the 2006 crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon.

Bulger and Greig had lived for years under the pseudonyms Charles and Carol Gasko.

In addition to accusations that Bulger murdered mob rivals, potential witnesses and others who threatened him, prosecutors accuse him of a crime spree spanning into the 1990s that included extortion, money laundering and, at one point, running guns to Northern Ireland’s IRA militants.


One Response to “Joe Bruno on the Mob – FBI pays out $2.1 million reward for Bulger”

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