FBI Impersonator Gets State Prison

CLEARFIELD – A North Carolina man accused of impersonating an FBI agent was sentenced to state prison after pleading guilty during plea and sentencing court in Clearfield County.

Richard Allen Gilbert, 48, who also had a local address in West Decatur, pleaded guilty to theft by deception and impersonating a public servant in three cases. In the third case, he also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and driving under suspension. Judge Paul Cherry sentenced him to one to five years in state prison. He was fined $217 plus costs and must pay restitution of more than $17,000.

Prior to sentencing, two people spoke, explaining how Gilbert claimed he was an FBI agent and was going to help them resolve some legal matters. He took money from them and they received no results.

According to the affidavit in the first case, police began investigating Gilbert after receiving a call from the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging in late August. They reported that the elderly victim had become afraid of Gilbert and believed he was from “law enforcement” and was able to “make things go away.”

When she spoke with police, the victim told them she met Gilbert through a friend. Gilbert identified himself as a federal agent and said he could help her with a custody issue with her grandchild. He was given $538 for “filing fees.” Gilbert promised they would be getting the children back and told them that they did not need to attend any other court proceedings. Gilbert also told the elderly couple that he could help with the husband’s pension problems using his “connections.”

According to the affidavit in the other cases, another victim said when he was introduced to Gilbert he was told Gilbert was an FBI agent. This victim, William Albert, said Gilbert was supposed to file a complaint with the Justice Department regarding a dispute over mineral rights. He was paid nearly $6,000 to handle this for Albert.    Another victim, Ralph Best, told police Gilbert introduced himself as an agent with the Department of Justice out of North Carolina. He claimed to be in town to deal with the corruption here. He told Best he could get his son for him.

Later he told Best his case wasn’t going to be heard in Clearfield County Court, but it was going to a federal court before a judge that would be flown in by helicopter. He said the judge would then work out of a motel. Gilbert stated that they were “taking down” several local officials, half the state police and the Clearfield Borough police. Best said Gilbert had a list “a mile long.”

Best paid him close to $12,000 to help get custody of his son. This victim stated that sometimes Gilbert warned him that he should to stay at home for weeks because the court was watching him.

When Gilbert was interviewed by police on Sept. 11, he said he never told anyone he was from the Department of Justice or an FBI agent. He said he never showed anyone a badge or gun, admitting that he is not allowed to carry a gun. He denied that Best gave him $22,000 and said it was only around $200. Gilbert admitted that he did tell “some of these folks” that he would see what he could do to help them out but claimed he never made any promises to anyone.

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