Computer Crime Research Center


Fake FBI guy arrested by real deal

Date: August 16, 2004
Source: Daily Southtown
By: Chris Hack

The leader of a Hickory Hills-based prison-ministry organization was arrested Friday on federal charges he impersonated an FBI employee at a conference for law-enforcement professionals.

Mark W. Rizzo, 51, of 9510 S. 88th Ave., Palos Hills, allegedly held himself out to be an instructor at the FBI's academy in Virginia while teaching classes at the Chicago conference.

FBI officials said they confirmed that Rizzo never worked for the agency and has not taught at the academy.

Rizzo is executive director of Freedom Flyer Ministries, a Baptist group founded in 1987 with the primary purpose of training prison chaplains "dedicated to seeing sinners converted to Jesus Christ," according to the group's Web site.

Public records show that in 2002, the tax-exempt, nonprofit group collected more than $400,000 in donations.

But this week Rizzo was teaching seminars at a three-day conference for law-enforcement workers put on by another nonprofit group, the National Gang Crime Research Center.

According to an online schedule of the conference, Rizzo was scheduled to moderate at least eight seminars ranging in topics from "Personal Safety and the Psychopath" to "The Chaldean Mafia: A Threat Analysis."

"I know what I do," Rizzo said after a brief appearance before a federal magistrate. "I don't know why they would arrest me for that."

Rizzo was listed at the conference as the "director of the behavioral sciences unit" of the National Gang Crime Research Center. Phone calls to the center, which lists a Peotone post office box as its headquarters, were not returned Friday afternoon.

Rizzo was arrested during the conference at the downtown Westin Hotel about 11 a.m. Friday and released on his own recognizance later in the day.

If convicted of the felony charge of impersonating a federal agent, he could face up to three years in prison.

"In this era of heightened security, we will not tolerate individuals who falsely claim to be FBI employees," said Thomas Kneir, special-agent-in-charge of the FBI's Chicago office. "The public must have total and complete confidence that individuals representing themselves as FBI employees are in fact who they claim."

"The conduct alleged to have been committed by Mr. Rizzo is even more egregious when you consider his motivation was strictly for personal gain."

Original article

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Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2007-10-22 23:45:00 - Fake FBI agent, Fake Investigation,... Yellowhouse
2007-10-20 07:12:49 - Mark Rizzo, you are not worth the enormous... Marquis De Sade
2007-06-15 00:05:08 - does anybody know how his arrest has... Justin
2007-02-24 02:36:12 - I attended two teen camps in Washington... Joseph Baker
2007-02-20 20:12:21 - I Know Mark and his wife and since this... Garry
2007-02-05 09:09:24 - This guy fooled a lot of people. Does... charlie
2006-11-03 07:53:13 - Yes, we'er all saints aren't we? I don't... Dennis
2006-05-17 01:39:29 - Hey, I was on the internet looking for... paul
2005-11-28 22:46:31 - "FAILING TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES..."... Delmont
2005-10-25 23:19:04 - Anon, yes you are right. BUT he has RUINED... I know him
Total 24 comments
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