When Hoffman’s DEA handler came into the office, Hoffman announced, “I can deliver John DeLorean.”
His handler was skeptical. “What do you know about DeLorean?”
Hoffman was playing his cards carefully, “I read in the Wall Street Journal that he has money problems. We used to be neighbors in Pluma Valley down near San Diego,” boasts Hoffman, “our kids hung out together.”
“So when did you learn all of this stuff?” queried Henry.
I laugh, “I didn’t know any of it before I was arrested.”
“You learned all this while you were in prison?”
“Yep, some from an undercover agent who was trying to get me to snitch. I learned most of it from Morgan when they put him in my jail unit. The rest is from my file.”
“So Hoffman got DeLorean to talk with him,” prods Henry.
“DeLorean was desperate. His company was going broke, he needed a big infusion of cash to save it, and that was when Hoffman called. DeLorean thought that Hoffman had money connections so he agreed to meet with him. The problem was that Hoffman had his own agenda, which was that he wanted his share of the money.”
“Share?” queries Henry. “He’s a convicted felon, a sleazy informant. Why would he get a share?”
“He shouldn’t, but he wanted to get paid. However, it was not the $1,800,000 he was hoping for plus expenses.”
“That’s almost two million dollars,” interrupts Henry.
“Hoffman saw himself as a bounty hunter to take down DeLorean. He’s the hero in his own story and he wanted his reward. Without him setting it all up there would be no case against DeLorean. All these government agencies had their marching orders to get DeLorean, but they had nothing.”
“But for Hoffman, and he has them dancing to his tune.”
I nod, “He was certainly calling the shots,” I confide, “and it was making his handler angry. Like I said, nobody liked Hoffman, he’s just too scummy.”
“Who’s his handler?”
I smile, “Gerald Scotti, he hated working with Hoffman. The man was a loose cannon with his own agenda—Hoffman was demanding a big financial reward.”
“Demanding?” questions Henry, “you’re kidding?”
“Scotti was forced to cooperate with Hoffman when he would far rather shoot him. In 1983, Hoffman pocketed four times Scotti’s salary in rewards.”
Hoffman lured DeLorean to meet in a bar with the promise of 60 million to save his company. DeLorean brought company records and financials, but Hoffman hardly seemed interested and wanted to meet in the back of the bar where it was dark.”
Henry smiles, “That in itself is a rather big hint.”
“Meanwhile Hoffman was doing what he did best, looking out for himself. He wove a web of lies telling DeLorean it’s a strictly money deal; an investment. Back at FBI headquarters he told his handlers that DeLorean was interested in a drug deal. They didn’t tape all of their conversations. Later, he told DeLorean that his backers are from Colombia.”
“Time to get scared,” interjects Henry.
“DeLorean balked, he didn’t want to be a part of what he now believed was a drug deal. Hoffman threatened him, saying that he knew too much.”
“What kind of threat?” prods Henry.
“That the Colombians would kill his children. The threat was graphic, child’s head in a grocery sack type of threat.”
“That’s assault!” yells Henry, “It’s a felony offense. Hoffman should have been arrested. They had that on tape?”
“Not quite, in that tape there was a missing 47-minute gap.”
“Which is where Hoffman made the threat?” asks Henry.
“Yes, that is suppressing evidence in a federal case.”
“It’s worse than that,” I agree, “if those agents were trying to hide a criminal act—that would make them coconspirators.”
“Later, one of the undercover agents posing as a drug dealer leveled his own threat at DeLorean for trying to back out.”
“DeLorean wanted out and they’re using threats to keep him in,” queries Henry, “they are forcing DeLorean into a criminal conspiracy, and that’s coercion by a federal agent.”
“Exactly, DeLorean was scared for his children, particularly his baby girl. He wrote everything in a letter including names and places, which he mailed to his attorney. One of the names was a supposed crooked banker, James Benedict, AKA FBI Agent Benedict Tisa, from the Eureka Savings and Loan.
“What disturbs me,” I continue, “is that they figured DeLorean deserved to be setup and so it was okay for them to take him down even though they knew he was innocent.”
“They seem to have forgotten the code of ethics.”
I continue, “The agents needed an actual cocaine smuggler. It was perfect, allow Hoffman to bring DeLorean and Morgan Hetrick together. Morgan drops his defenses because he knows DeLorean and has fond memories of Cristina.”
“What?” Henry is stunned. “Morgan knew DeLorean and his wife Cristina before all of this went down.
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