BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — PEABODY — The former head of the FBI Boston office has been charged by federal prosecutors in Connecticut with violating a federal ethics law that bars former high-ranking officials from making professional contacts with the agency they worked for during the year after they retire or resign.
Kenneth W. Kaiser of Hopkinton allegedly used his connections within the FBI within weeks of his retirement to assist a Peabody business called LocatePlus with an ongoing investigation into criminal acts by its now-former top officers, as well as a business executive in Gloucester who had hired Kaiser after receiving a threatening letter, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.
Kaiser, now 57, retired in July 2009. On the same day he retired, he was hired by LocatePlus, then located in Beverly, to assist them in an internal investigation into former CEO Jon Latorella and chief financial officer James Field, who were suspected of (and later charged with) securities fraud.
Both men have since been convicted in a scheme that included using the identity of a deceased Marblehead man to generate fictitious customers and drive up stock prices.
Kaiser was also expected to assist the company in generating new customers for its data brokering service from government agencies, including the FBI, prosecutors allege.
Within three weeks of his retirement Kaiser was allegedly making “numerous” phone and in-person contacts with FBI employees, in an effort to gather information about the government’s investigation and in an effort to generate sales.
In August 2009, Kaiser was also hired by a Gloucester executive, who was not named in the U.S. Attorney’s announcement, to investigate a threatening letter, and used his contacts within the FBI in the course of his work for that employer, prosecutors said.
In March 2010, less than a year after retiring from the FBI, Kaiser was made LocatePlus’s “Director of Government Sales,” a full-time position at the firm, which is now located in Peabody.
Kaiser was special agent-in-charge of the Boston FBI office from 2003 until 2006, when he was reassigned to Washington.
Kaiser was charged yesterday in what is called an “information,” a form of complaint that does not require a grand jury presentation and is typically the result of negotiations between prosecutors and a defendant.
If convicted, Kaiser could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.