December 2: “Chasing Phil: Undercover With the World’s Most Charming Con Artist”
Enjoy a lively discussion with David Howard, author of the true-crime book CHASING PHIL: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World’s Most Charming Con Man, and Jim Wedick, now retired, who was one of the FBI agents swept up in a hustler’s wild ride.
This event will be livestreamed.
Wedick and Jack Brennan were young, eager undercover agents in the ’70s, untrained and fresh at their jobs. They were so fresh, in fact, that the unwitting agents gave their target – the jet-setting con man Phil Kitzer – their real names when they met him. They hadn’t counted on Kitzer taking a liking to them and pulling them into his world.
- Operation Fountain Pin was the FBI’s first-ever, white-collar undercover sting – and the Bureau resisted pursuing it every step of the way.
- Wedick and Brennan’s covert investigation eventually led to implicating organized crime and in later years to the successful conclusion of other ground-breaking FBI cases.
- Kitzer conned celebrities, too, and with his global network of financial scammers he even swindled Elvis Presley out of a private jet and $360,000 in 1976.
Chasing Phil is soon to be adapted for a Warner Brothers movie with Robert Downey Jr. in the role of Phil Kitzer.
David Howard, author of the book CHASING PHIL: The Adventures of Two Undercover Agents with the World’s Most Charming Con Man.
Jim Wedick, retired FBI agent, was directly involved in Operation Fountain Pen as a new untrained undercover agent. He started as a Special Agent in 1973. In addition to Operation Fountain Pen, he has been involved in the ABSCAM investigation as well as several investigations into organized crime including the Gambino, Bonanno, Lucchese and Genevese crime families. He also has helped launch prosecutions in health care fraud, municipal corruption and investigations into the California State Legislature and California State Teachers’ Pension Fund. In 1994 he received the FBI Director’s Award and in April 2004, then Attorney General John Ashcroft described Wedick’s investigations as “models” for other agents to “emulate.”
Establishing a national consulting practice since retiring, Wedick has assisted numerous law firms, business professionals, security consultants, and journalists seeking information about the FBI. Wedick also operates website for retired FBI agents at FBIretired.com.