Numbers Show Federal Agencies Recently Paid Whopping $548 Million to Informants

Numbers Show Federal Agencies Recently Paid Whopping $548 Million to Informants

( – Illinois entrepreneur and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski founded OpenTheBooks in 2011 to capture and disclose government spending. According to its website, it filed 40,000 Freedom of Information Act requests in 2020, capturing roughly $6 trillion in public expenditures at the federal, state, and local levels. The group recently reported on the total amount of dollars spent on informants by federal law enforcement agencies over the last several years.

On November 18, Andrzejewski published the findings of a multi-year study into federal payouts to informants by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The report revealed expenditures totaling roughly $548 billion.

According to the OpenTheBook analysis, published by Forbes:

  • The DEA kept more than “18,000 active confidential informants” from the beginning of October 2010 through the end of September 2015. It paid out about $237 million to more than 9,000 of them.
  • The FBI averaged payouts totaling $42 million per year to an indeterminate number of active informants over a 6-year period ending in 2018.
  • The ATF paid 1,855 informants $17.2 million between 2012 and 2015. Each informant took home an average of $2,318 per year.

OpenTheBooks also determined several informants took in millions of dollars each over that time frame. Of additional concern, government agencies paid many of them to commit crimes like making illegal drug purchases.

Our hard-earned tax dollars at work!

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