The mysterious case and public death of FBI boss Salvatore “Sal” Cincinelli just gotten even stranger.
The FBI has said nothing publicly about the grisly public suicide death of one of the Bureau’s top financial crimes supervisors who reportedly shot and killed himself on a crowded nite-club dance floor in July.
But FBI insiders said Cincinelli was questioned by FBI about his knowledge of a murder-for-hire plot shortly before his public suicide. Cincinellu’s sister, Valerie, was arrested in May for allegedly plotting to kill her ex husband and the teenage daughter of her boyfriend.
Cincinelli’s sister is a New York City Police officer.
Six weeks after her arrest, her FBI brother was reportedly out partying with FBI colleagues at the Container Bar, a trendy watering hole in Austin, TX. The group had been drinking and dancing, according to sources. Later in the evening Cincinelli reportedly turned the gun on himself on a crowded dance floor.
Cincinelli was 41.
Now FBI officials said the Bureau questioned Cincinelli before his death about his sister’s alleged plot. Insiders said FBI brass were following prorocols to question Cincinelli about the case against his sister. Was the FBI Cincinelli implicated in the case? Or was Cincinelli making waves at FBI because he had problems with the way the case was built against his sister?
FBI officials have not made any public comments about Cincinelli’s death. Insiders, likewise, said top management has been silent on the situation.
“It (Cincinelli’s questioning) could have been routine or could have been more,” one FBI insider said. “The timing is problematic because he killed himself so it is difficult to get the real story.”
But the FBI’s Cincinelli shared with some colleagues that he believed his sister was, in part, being “set up,” according to Bureau insiders. Apparently. Cincinelli has issues with some of the evidence collected against his sister, insiders said.
The FBI had wiretapped Valerie Cincinelli’s phones in March and the Feds also had her boyfriend wearing a wire to gather evidence against her. The case went on for months, according to federal records.
That boyfriend, John DiRubba, was the FBI’s star witness in the case, working undercover to gather evidence against Cincinelli. Justice Department officials said NYPD Officer Cincinelli, 34, asked DiRubba in February to hire a hitman to kill Isaiah Carvalho, her estranged husband who filed for divorce in 2018.
Her boyfriend pretended to do so, but instead alerted the FBI and worked undercover to help arrest her.
But now the lawyer for an NYPD police officer charged with a murder-for-hire plot said the government has selectively excerpted or misinterpreted her text messages and internet searches to block her from getting released on bail.
“[T]hese text messages do not support pre-trial detention, and, in fact, plainly rebut many of the government’s contentions,” James Kousouros, the attorney for Valerie Cincinelli, said in court papers responding to prosecution arguments.
In opposing Cincinelli’s release on bail, government prosecutors have argued in court papers that her cellphone records show that she was angry over her boyfriend’s purchase of luxury goods for his teenage daughter and furious that her husband could get a share of her police pension in a divorce settlement.
Kousouros argued the cellphone records show that Cincinelli was angry with her boyfriend because he owed her $15,000, but instead spent money on the daughter. “Ms. Cincinelli is simply confronting with what appears to be pricey expenditures for his daughter with money she believed he had taken from her,” Kousoruos wrote.
Kousouros said: “These texts show nothing more than a woman venting her frustration at repeated lying regarding her money and where it was spent.”
In addition, Kousouros said that the government is mistaken when prosecutors said Cincinelli gave the boyfriend $7,000 to hire a hitman to murder the daughter and the estranged husband. The $7,000 was actually for the boyfriend to invest in gold coins, Kousouros wrote.
He notes that after Cincinelli lent him the money, she asks her boyfriend where the money is, and the boyfriend replies in a text, “I’m making all the moves to make more money don’t you understand.”
Kousouros could not be reached for comment.
Cincinelli was one a supervisory special agent who spearheaded many of the FBI’s high-profile and complex Wall Street investigations, including probing the finances of the Clinton Foundation. After leaving his Wall Street career, Cincinelli was first assigned to the New York field office (SDNY) and later promoted to HQ in Washington, DC. He was a native New Yorker as well.
“Very very bright guy,” one FBI insider said. “Such a young guy, it really gets you in the gut. He put in the hours too, was always working hard.”
This story is developing. — Thomas Paine