Craig Monteilh says he was an undercover informant for the FBI and infiltrated the Muslim community in Orange County. The FBI has never confirmed that he worked with the agency. Now, the Irvine man is demanding court records unsealed to officially identify him as a spy.
Monteilh said he spied on about a dozen area mosques from July 2006 until October 2007 at the behest of the FBI. He said he posed as a Muslim convert and learned to speak, read and write Arabic.
So why does Monteilh want the records unsealed? He claims his bureau handlers wrongfully allowed him to get arrested and convicted on felony charges resulting from a federal sting operation.
"I signed a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI," said Monteilh. "When I was arrested, I was told not to take it to trial, that I had to take a plea agreement, and that's why I am coming out right now because of my false imprisonment."
Monteilh was convicted of fraud and grand theft, and served a prison sentence for conning two women out of more than $157,000.
Monteilh said he was promised that he would be placed under the witness-protection program and awarded $100,000 at the end of his work as an informant. He also said federal agents told him they would clear his record of the 2008 grand-theft conviction. He said the FBI reneged on its agreement.
Monteilh is suing the FBI for $10 million. He appeared before a judge in West Covina on Monday to ask for the court records to be unsealed. The case was continued until Dec. 3.