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How a fake CIA operative engineered failed bank heists and their cover-up

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CIA lobby (wikimedia commons)
CIA lobby (wikimedia commons)

When Herson Torres nervously walked into a SunTrust bank in Alexandria, VA with a note demanding money, he thought he was working deep cover for an ultra-secret government mission meant to gauge the security of Washington-area banks. Owing to a combination of inexperience and nerves, Torres never walked away with a cent during numerous botched attempts. But — despite the assurances of his supposed government contact "Theo" — eventually authorities closed in on him.

From there, the sequence of events only gets more bizarre. Under the guise of a CIA operative, 26-year-old Joshua Brady managed to recruit lawyers for Torres, promising them $45,000 cash to keep his agent-in-training out of jail. Inevitably the feds caught on, rounding up Brady only to learn the whole story in an extravagant tale that involved forged documents, deception, and a website called SugarDaddyForMe. For the entire must-read account, head over to Bloomberg Businessweek.