May 11th, 2010
08:22 PM ET

Feds: Woman admits impersonating FBI exec, hiring

A 29-year old woman who lived in Arlington, Virginia, last year admits she falsely claimed to be an FBI executive, even hiring neighbors as employees as she carried out her strange hoax for months, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Brenna Marie Reilly pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to impersonating an FBI employee, which could land her up to three years in prison.

According to court documents, last August Reilly began to claim to several neighbors in Arlington that she was an assistant director of the FBI, and director of the bureau's forensic division.

By November she said she was looking to hire two assistants. Two neighbors filled out what appeared to them to be genuine FBI forms and were told they were hired. One even quit his job to work for the FBI, the court affidavit said. Although she provided gifts, Reilly never did pay the employees, according to the court document.

"Some of the duties involved transcribing interrogations supposedly conducted by Reilly," the court document said. "Other duties included editing condolence letters to the families of CIA officers who died in the January bombing in Afghanistan; Reilly claimed the CIA officers were working for her," the affidavit, which was filed in March, said.

A suspicious parent of one of the "employees" contacted the real FBI after the "employee" - described in the affidavit as a victim - was told he would be taken by Reilly to Germany and then Iraq on FBI business, according to the document.

Reilly met the victim at his parents' home in New Jersey purportedly to pick him up for the trip. But the man subsequently contacted his parents and told them he had never left the country.

Instead, according to affidavit, he had stayed at Reilly's apartment and then at a hotel "all under the threat that if he were to contact and tell anybody that he was actually in the United States, Reilly would terminate his employment."

Reilly was not seen in Arlington after early February, according to the affidavit, and had her mail forwarded to her parents' home in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The episode left some officials scratching their heads. Nothing in the court documents or in the courtroom dealt with Reilly's motive.

"We don't have any information regarding a motive," said Peter Carr, the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Alexandria. "It was never clear why she did this," Carr said.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S. • Uncategorized
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Hannah

    this lady was obviously desperate. maybe she had her own fantisy world like litthe kids do. how they always wannabe a cop or doctor. or maybe she is just sick

    May 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. derek

    dumb broad could of save time and headache by joining law enforcment and work her way up. this chick was pure fanaticism.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Barb

    Obviously, this chick has not discovered Facebook. If she had, she would have filled all those hours of free time playing Farmville or Mafia Wars. She would have had no time left for portraying a real life FBI agent! lol

    May 12, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. rttr6

    Way too much TV!

    May 12, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    P.T. Barnum was right – there is a sucker born every minute!

    May 12, 2010 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. lawrence

    Can't believe this is happening. Dang FBI disowning their own because of internal conflicts!!! (wink)

    May 12, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. Straight Dope

    FBI – Female Body Inspector

    May 12, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. FoxMulder

    Scully, is that you?

    May 12, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pete Formaini

    Apparently the departure of Mandy Patankin and his replacement with Joe Montegna on CRIMINAL MINDS sent this chick WAY WAY OFF THE RAILS.....

    May 12, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. William

    Some people are wierd.

    May 12, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. S Kyle

    the most disturbing part is, who on earth has their mom calling their employer to check up on things? this isn't elementary school... the 'victim's' mom sounds like the control freak.

    May 12, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Michael

    Ahaaa ha ha ha ha.. "My ribs"...... Opps Sorry..!!!!! Tee hee hee.....!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    This creepy woman has some issues, Let's hope our prison system will help her iron out those issues..

    May 12, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. xlntcat

    There are some strange, scary individuals in VA. Take a close look at the current governor and AG.

    May 12, 2010 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    Hey, a female James Bond. The male James Bond was always portrayed; handsome-good looking, tall, dashing, could jump from a speeding locomotive, car or even from an airplane. Could this female in Arlington also be portrayed as the female counter? Hollywood, are you flying some one out to Arlington?

    May 12, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
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