Nation: Son of Abscam

An informer's personal sting

In the new tradition of catchy labels for FBI undercover operations—Abscam, Brilab, Miporn—a new one came to light last week that might be named Son of Abscam. An illegitimate son, to be sure: this sting victimized innocent, though gullible, California businessmen. It was run not by the FBI but by one of the agency's informers, who went into business on the side for himself.

The informer, Joseph B. Meltzer, 55, was recruited by the FBI soon after he was convicted in 1978 by a court in West Palm Beach, Fla., for...

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