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Criminal Charges, Volume XXVIII: Doing 007 proud

Jeremy Simon

The stories of espionage and international intrigue in this week’s abbreviated Criminal Charges round up would make James Bond proud. We’ve got a former spy who decided to let the CIA pay for his luxurious lifestyle, as well as a international murder in Dubai where a credit card may help identify the killer.

As long as 007 isn’t your credit score, read on…

Former spy charges more than $115,000 in personal expenses to CIA plastic
If the films I’ve seen are accurate, spies get to travel around the globe, experiencing adventure in exotic locales — but that apparently doesn’t mean they can spend whatever they want. Case in point: Former CIA agent Steven J. Levan was terminated in January for fraudulently running up $115,264 in personal expenses on credit cards for which the government was responsible.

Levan’s next trip could leave him behind bars, after the ex-spy pled guilty last week to using a CIA credit card for a hotel stay, as well as using the identity information on the CIA cards to obtain two more credit cards he had sent to his home. Among Levan’s personal charges were that $7,446 month-long hotel stay in Virginia and a $709 Raymond Weil watch. According to court documents provided by, the CIA had to pick up the tab in order to protect the identities of its agents.

Apparently, Levan shouldn’t have needed the extra credit. “Judging from his salary tier, Levan occupied a fairly senior position in the CIA: as a GS-15, he earned between $115,000 and $149,000 a year, the top level for government civil service,” Wired reports.

Despite his high level, Levan kept a low profile, committing much of the fraud while living at a Tyson’s Corner, Va., under an assumed identity.

Plastic allegedly proves suspect’s connection to Dubai murder
An Egyptian court heard on Feb. 14 how a suspect’s credit card tied him to the murder or a Lebanese singer.

The director of Dubai Police’s criminal investigation department told a three-judge panel in Cairo, Egypt, how Mohsen el Sokari allegedly used his credit card to purchase a knife used in Suzanne Tamim’s murder. Additionally, that credit card was allegedly used to buy Nike pants and shoes, which were found stained with blood on the floor level below that of Tamim’s apartment. “Pictures from a security camera in the building allegedly showed Mr. el Sokari entering the building that day wearing the clothes,” The National reports.

Former Egyptian police officer el Sokari was arrested in early August and charged with killing Tamim after being hired by Hisham Talaat Moustafa, a billionaire and member of Egypt’s ruling party who had previously had a romantic relationship with Tamim.

See related: The new black card: Take that, AmEx!, Criminal Charges, Volume XXVII: Bad business, Criminal Charges, Volume XXVI: Caught on camera, Criminal Charges, Volume XXV: Trust no one

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