The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation of a Florida company accused of scamming millions from customers during the period that Matthew Whitaker, the acting U.S. attorney general, served as a paid advisory-board member, according to an alleged victim who was contacted by the FBI and other people familiar with the matter.
The investigation is being handled by the Miami office of the FBI and by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, according to an email sent to the alleged victim last year by an FBI victim specialist. A recording on a phone line set up by the Justice Department to help victims said Friday the case remains active.
The Journal, citing court documents, reported that Whitaker was paid $9,375 to serve on World Patent Marketing’s advisory board and also appeared in promotional materials for the company. While other advisory board members returned fees they received from World Patent Marketing, the Journal reported that Whitaker had not responded to a demand notice.
Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general Wednesday after Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Donald Trump. In his new role, Whitaker oversees the FBI as well as the special counsel’s investigation. Experts told the Journal that Whitaker would be expected to recuse himself from any investigation into World Patent Marketing.