DEA, FBI Suspend Online Contracts
MIAMI (AP) _ The Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI suspended their contracts with a major law enforcement database company partly because of the reputation of the company’s founder and major stockholder, The Miami Herald reported Saturday.
DBT Online, based in Boca Raton, compiles public records worldwide and provides dossiers on investigative targets for about 1,500 police agencies.
The DEA and FBI halted their contracts with the company in May, partly over concern that founder Henry Edward Asher was suspected in the early 1980s of flying illegal drugs to the United States from the Bahamas.
The agencies also were concerned that the company could monitor investigations, the newspaper said.
However, no evidence has been found that any cases have been compromised and DBT executives say such a prospect is impossible because of its intricate security measures.
Asher, 49, has never been arrested or charged with any crime.
The company announced Friday that Asher had agreed to sell his majority ownership in an effort to save DBT’s law enforcement contracts, which account for 25 percent of the company’s $60 million in yearly revenues.
The DEA and FBI told their agents May 18 to stop using information services from DBT’s Database Technologies subsidiary.
A DEA statement said that a routine internal inspection of the agency’s Miami field office in 1998 ``raised significant concerns″ about the database company.
Asher issued a statement through his lawyer denying any criminal activity and saying unfair disclosures to the Herald were timed to affect the value of his $148 million in company stock.