In 1985 I received a recommendation to hire Haggai Carmon, a well-known and skillful Israeli attorney. At the time, as the Director of the Office of Foreign Litigation in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, I was responsible for the worldwide defense of lawsuits against the United States and for finding private lawyers to protect the U.S. interests.
I had reason to be glad I picked Haggai. In our Israeli litigation he was hard to beat – winning all cases for the U.S. government. From the beginning, Haggai and I developed a special relationship. As soon as the case was filed, he was full of ideas and ready to develop the best strategy in our defense. I quickly realized that Haggai had additional expertise in the intelligence gathering field that would prove to be of great benefit to the U.S. government.
The money laundering work I asked Haggai to do was new to me and I believe for the U.S. government as well. And the scope of the work was indeed global in nature – we had reports of stolen funds in many different countries. He was given a relatively free rein to do his work with several general restrictions: 1) don’t do anything to embarrass the U.S; and 2) comply with the laws of the foreign country you are working in. I never heard complaints about Haggai’s work internationally and I never had reason to doubt that he was operating within the law of the country where he was working. He was commended for his recovery efforts by a number of federal agencies including the Postal Inspection Service, IRS, and from a number of U.S. Attorney’s offices throughout the country.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that his investigations were providing great material for thriller espionage novels. I looked forward with great anticipation to reading every report he submitted to the office. You can see from his four novels, how successfully he accomplished his work. To me, the best feature of his books is that you are reading true to life accounts written by a professional who knows how to give the reader a firsthand feeling and authentic description of how undercover agents do their work – and what is really happening behind the scenes.
Haggai once told me that “white collar criminals are different from robbers and burglars who want cash to hide their criminal behavior. White collar criminals want their activity to look legal, so they leave a paper trail. Somewhere along that trail, they are bound to make a mistake, and I’ll be waiting there to catch them.” And we, the reader, are excited to learn about his latest adventures.