Criminal Lessons Learned from the FBI

My FBI Citizens Academy completed its 5th week last night, and I’ve picked up a few tips that ought to come in handy for anybody contemplating a life in crime. In the spirit of sharing, here goes:

1. Be Nice to Support Staff. 10 years ago, Charles Cacioppo, Jr., had a pretty good thing going. He had lots of highly profitable work getting funneled to him from Rockhurst University, in exchange for a few bribes to the guy who parceled out the work. The problem was, he treated his secretary like dirt. And, when he brought his son into the business, and the son started treating the same secretary like dirt, she called an FBI agent she knew, who had treated her respectfully even as he was helping to prosecute one of her relatives. Secretaries know everything, and this secretary was fed up enough to provide all the details to the FBI. If Cacioppo’s son had called her “ma’am” instead of “stupid b****” that day, who knows, Cacioppo might never have seen the inside of a prison cell.

2. Don’t Talk So Much. Especially if you’re in prison. Even if there isn’t a guard around, and you think your cellmate is your buddy.

3. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings. If you’re a jet-setting corporate executive, flying all over the world working with other companies to set up an elaborate price-fixing scheme, take a second to look around. Don’t you think it’s odd that the exact same lamp shows up in your hotel rooms and conference rooms all over the world?

4. But Not Always. On the other hand, sometimes looking around isn’t a great idea. If you’ve taken hostages, and the FBI hostage negotiator wants you to come to the window for a second, it’s probably not a good idea. Just sayin’.

5. Stop Trusting Criminals. This is the biggest and most important tip of all. The problem with most crime is that it involves other criminals, and, really, criminals tend not to be the most dependable of associates. Think about it. If your freedom hinges on somebody doing what you want them to do, and that somebody happens to be a criminal, there’s a serious flaw in your plan. Eventually, somebody’s going to get caught for something, and they might benefit from offering information about you. Or, they might get greedy, and figure out ways to cut you out of the enterprise. Or, even if they happen to be loyal and non-greedy criminals (a rare breed), they might just be colossally stupid, and expose your enterprise accidentally. Perhaps by not following the above lessons 1-3 (if they violate lesson #4, you probably won’t have to worry about them ratting you out anymore).

All of these rules are supplemental to the number one rule of crime that my father taught me years ago. I can’t remember what the transgression was that triggered his sage advice, but he told me, “Dan, go ahead and lie, cheat, and steal. But before you do it, make sure that you can get away with it, and that you’ll wind up with enough to live in luxury for the rest of your life. Otherwise, don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your integrity for less than that.” A whole lot of criminals would be in a much better position today if someone had offered them that lesson.

6 Responses to “Criminal Lessons Learned from the FBI”

  1. Chuck Cacioppo jr says:

    Don’t believe everything the Goverment tells you. It is not always true

  2. just me says:

    But dear Chuckie, a lot of it is!

  3. KC says:

    Don’t worry Chuck, compared to what the devil has in store for you, the feds are nothing! You and your family are parasites on society. You have all ruined lives and continue to do so. Like I said, Feds are the last people I’d worry about. This life is a blink, forever is after this. May God save you and families souls before that last breath, Amen.

  4. Obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about and you don’t even know the true story So I’m sure you don’t Live in a glass house You shouldn’t be throwing stones And to bring my family into it you must be a real asshole

  5. My sweet little secretary who threw me under the bus with my son never talk bad to had a son who was in trouble for the second time selling drugs. And she was in trouble for a arson case. So get your facts straight before you pass judgment on people’s families. And I’m sure if you want to speak to me in person you know how to get a hold of me . KC

  6. Just me says:

    ah, but dearest Chuck, some of us DO know what we are talking about. Moral of the story, be nice to people and they won’t tell the FBI on you.

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