FBI agent in Medrano case does terrible acting job

June 16, 2013

(Photo/Flickr)

An FBI agent who worked undercover in the investigation into former Chicago Alderman Ambrosio Medrano did a terrible job acting out the part of George Castro, a healthcare consultant from California. Medrano is accused of trying to bribe a public official in Los Angeles to get a contract with the L.A. County government, and FBI Agent  Gabriel Casanova was acting as the guy who would hand off the money to the public official.

But in one secretly recorded meeting the undercover agent seems to know nothing about the healthcare industry.  He speaks in generalities about private and public contracts and how the healthcare industry should expand in the next five to 10 years, though he provides no reasons for why he thinks it might expand. At one point Medrano’s co-defendant Gus Buenrostro asks the undercover agent if there are a lot of ambulatory centers in Los Angeles.

Agent Casanova as Castro hums and haws a little bit. “I‘m not sure if there are or not. There’s a few. I wouldn’t say a lot.  I work with a few private and also with the county system so...I don’t get to see a lot of the hard facilities most of the time,” Cassanova said on the tape.

Prosecutors say the agent was playing dumb about the health industry to show that Medrano and his co-defendants weren’t interested in doing business with him because of his expertise, but because of his willingness to pay a bribe to a public official.

Jurors are scheduled to start deliberations in the case Monday after a two week long trial.