Lakewood FBI Report Fabricated

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At the end of March, I blogged a report I’d seen from Yeshiva World News about a man posing as an Orthodox Jew who wasn’t Jewish at all and had stolen the identity of a dead man.

According to the report: “His charade came to a screeching halt last week – when the FBI suddenly arrived and whisked him away in handcuffs.”

And while some of the story was true — Ted Floyd did, indeed, steal the identity of deceased man named Natan Levi — the FBI angle was wholly fabricated.

How do I know?

This morning I got a message from Special Agent Sean Quinn from the FBI’s Newark office.

“We’ve never seen the man. We’ve never touched the man. We’ve never arrested the man. It’s false. It’s completely false.”

Subsequently, I spoke at length with Agent Quinn. Why was he being so vigilant about debunking the FBI angle?

Quinn told me that someone from another Jewish media outlet had accused the FBI of trying to cover up the fact that they had arrested Floyd in order to, in some way, embarrass the Jewish community. Quinn, of course, was disturbed by this accusation — which is why he reached out in the first place to set the story straight.

In general, the story seems to have gotten out of control.

CBS news investigated the story soon after it broke. According to Quinn, a rabbi affiliated with the Lakewood Police Department told them that the FBI had, indeed, arrested Floyd.

At first Quinn thought maybe another FBI office had, but after determining that the entire story was untrue, he told CBS.

Nonetheless, says Quinn, “CBS decided to believe the rabbi instead of me.” And they ran the story.

I asked Quinn where he thought the mix up originated, and he thought it came from someone close to Floyd or even from Floyd himself.

So how was Floyd nabbed if not by the FBI?

According to Quinn, he turned himself in.

Posted on May 1, 2008

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