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Former head of Boston FBI pleads guilty to illegal contacts

A former head of the Boston FBI office admitted Thursday that he had illegal contacts with the bureau after retiring, when he had work-related meetings with agents while working as a consultant.

Kenneth W. Kaiser, 57, of Hopkinton pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to a misdemeanor charge that he had contact with the FBI as a consultant within one year of his retirement, which is prohibited by law. He was released on personal recognizance, with sentencing scheduled for Dec.17. Kaiser had no comment after the hearing.

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Though Kaiser faces up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000, prosecutors will recommend that he pay a $15,000 fine and serve no prison time, according to a plea agreement.

Kaiser, a 27-year veteran of the FBI who led the Boston office from 2003 to 2006, started working for LocatePLUS, a Beverly company that sells investigative databases, on July 3, 2009, the same day that he retired from the bureau, prosecutors said. He was tasked with conducting an internal investigation into wrongdoing by two of LocatePLUS’s former executives and with helping the company boost sales.

Starting about two weeks later, court records show, Kaiser began communicating and meeting with FBI agents in Boston and with a federal prosecutor, pushing for charges to be filed against the former executives and to have LocatePLUS listed as a victim.

Kaiser also had prohibited contacts with FBI employees to gauge the bureau’s interest in LocatePLUS’s products and services, authorities said.

In addition, he made improper contacts with the FBI on behalf of a client who received a threatening letter, records show.

Assistant US Attorney Diane Freniere said in court Thursday that Kaiser earned more than $13,000 in fees in the course of his prohibited contacts.

Kaiser’s lawyer, Anthony E. Fuller, said in a statement that his client “contacted the FBI . . . so that it would investigate the criminal conduct and, with the assistance of the US attorney’s office, would ultimately prosecute the wrongdoers.”

Fuller added: “All of his communications to his former colleagues in the FBI were made in the good faith belief that he was helping their law enforcement mission. He did not contact his former colleagues through secret means or back channels, but did so openly and obviously” and attended one meeting at the US attorney’s office.

After leaving the Boston FBI office in 2006, Kaiser became assistant director at FBI headquarters in Washington, overseeing the Inspection Division and, later, the Criminal Investigative Division, until his retirement in 2009.

Milton J. Valencia of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.
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