The Strange Story Of The New Zealand I-Banker Who Went Undercover For The DEA

keith bulfinKeith meeting Keith Bulfin.

Keith Bulfin was just your regular investment banker who gets jailed for white collar fraud: he was married; three children; suits; suburbs; conspiracy; incarceration.Except that instead of being sent to a regular white-collar prison for his crime, Bulfin happened to be jailed at a “super max” lock-up, the Otago Daily Times reports — a lucky, if unusual, location.

During his three-year sentence, Bulfin – who is a New Zealander by birth, but worked for an Australian stockbroker – befriended a banking professional who actually worked for a Mexican drug cartel. And thus he became a prime target for undercover work that would restore his reputation when he returned.

So when it came time for his release, the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recruited Bulfin to go undercover.

He was asked to set up an investment bank in San Diego, and then lure Mexican drug money to the firm.

Obviously when the authorities first proposed their ploy, Bulfin said hell no. But they eventually convinced him that it would restore his credibility and fix his immigration issues.

He told the Otago Daily Times:

“Suddenly I was on a plane and in Mexico City and meeting my friend I had befriended in the super max prison.”

His life took an exciting and terrifying turn.

“I would have been executed if I’d been caught,” he added, matter-of-factly.

At one point, a bloody shootout in a Mexico city hotel room left a DEA agent and two drug dealers dead, and Mr Bulfin headed for US border carrying $US10 million ($NZ13.4 million) in a suitcase.

After his work in Mexico, he was reassigned to Washington DC and the FBI to operate a covert bank that targeted Middle Eastern countries and terrorist organisations. He even met George Bush during his Washington stint.

This might be the best banker-turned [insert weird new job here] story, we have ever read.

For more details, go to the Otago Daily Times >

For more information on Keith Bulfin, go to his website >

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