Man posing as FBI agent robs nearly $130,000 from Seattle money wiring service
SEATTLE - Inside Red Sea Finance, a money wiring service tucked into a Central District shopping mall, the knock sounded at the gate just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 25.
The employee opened the interior door to be greeted by a suit-clad man standing on the other side of the security gate. The stranger flashed a badge and said he was “FBI,” so the employee let him in, according to a Seattle police report.
After entering the small carpeted office, the man said he was investigating a “bad transaction” from earlier in the day and needed to see all of the daily transactions, the report said. The stranger then produced a piece of paper that said “Search Warrant,” police said.
The interaction quickly degraded – the stranger pulled out a handgun and ordered the man to empty the safe. He walked out of Red Sea Financial with $128, 259.10 in cash and the computer which houses surveillance video images, according to police.
Seattle police and the FBI are investigating jointly.
FBI Seattle spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich-Williams said the FBI is deeply concerned someone is impersonating one of their own.
“The FBI is concerned because of the element of possible impersonation of an FBI agent, it’s a federal crime to impersonate a federal officer,” she said. “The FBI will absolutely never demand money from somebody.”
A friend of the robbery victim showed up at the business during the robbery and was told by his friend to return in 10 minutes, the police report said. The man stayed outside and told police that he saw the suspect walk out of the business then head east on South King Street.
Police searched, but were unable to find the alleged robber.
Another employee of the money wiring business told police that a stranger knocked on their door on Jan. 24 around the same time. The man asked if they cashed checks, but the employee didn’t open the security door to him, the police report said.