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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!