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To Catch a Thief

Lots of people want to gossip with Comcast Corp. executive vice president of government and other corporate affairs David Cohen about the scandal over the FBI’s bugging of Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street for reasons as yet undisclosed.

Some have commented that Cohen should be thankful his office wasn’t bugged while he was chief of staff for ex-Mayor (now Pennsylvania Gov.) Ed Rendell. Cohen’s reply: "But it was."

The FBI had a wire and camera in his office for 18 months to snag a businessman peddling a scam. Cohen was the snitch, not the target: "I was a cooperating witness."

Donald Rishell claimed he could guarantee the city a 60% return on money invested with him, enough to fund a plan help revive the Philadelphia shipyard. All Cohen had to do was give him $500 million. In cash. Upfront.

As silly as it sounds, Rishell and a German partner’s pitch succeeded with officials in other governments. "I believe they got someone in Malaysia to ‘deposit’ $100 million."