Kelley’s financial strife adds clues to FBI email investigation

A prominent Tampa, Fla., social planner who has found herself at the center of a sex scandal ensnaring two of America’s most prominent generals has faced considerable financial problems that likely grabbed the attention of FBI investigators, experts said.

Jill Kelley, a volunteer social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, home to U.S. Central Command, is the one who first reported the anonymous, threatening emails she received to the FBI. It’s been widely reported those emails came from Paula Broadwell, an Army reservist and biographer of retired Gen. David Petraeus, who felt Kelley was getting too close to the Army four-star.

The resulting investigation led to the resignation of Petraeus from his post as director of the CIA after admitting to carrying on an affair with Broadwell. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday the investigation into Kelley’s email correspondence now also includes Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan.

A senior defense official said the FBI has uncovered over 30,000 pages of emails between Allen and Kelley over a two year span that started when Allen served as U.S. Central Command’s deputy commander. A Pentagon official described the emails as “inappropriate and flirtatious.” Allen has declined comment forwarding any requests to the Pentagon.

So far U.S. prosecutors have not charged either generals or the two women with any crimes. Minus any charges, some have questioned why the FBI completed such a thorough investigation into these four individual’s email accounts and why they publicly disclosed their affairs.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations subcommittee, might have opened a window into the FBI’s reasoning when he pointed out this morning on CNN the FBI would have needed to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant from a FISA Court to access private citizen’s emails.

A FISA warrant is only granted by the court if the FBI can prove the individual’s under surveillance pose a national security risk. An investigation connecting the CIA Director as well the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan is a start toward presenting such a threat.

A closer look at Jill Kelley’s background and the financial problems her and her husband have faced in recent years would have set off more red flags for FBI investigators and FISA Court judges. Debt is seen as one of the most serious threats to a military leader or agency official who holds a security clearance. Security analysts said a person’s financial history is one of the most important parts of an individual’s application for a security clearance — more so than even a drug test.

Kelley’s husband Scott is a prominent doctor in the Tampa community. However, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Central Bank filed a $2.2 million lawsuit against the Kelleys in 2011 for not making payments on a loan for a three-story office building in downtown Tampa.

The Central Bank lawsuit was one of nine against the Kelleys in the past decade dealing with credit card debt and missed payments on real estate.  Court records show on going cases that “include an indebtedness case from Chase Bank; a foreclosure case from Regions Bank; and a credit card case from FIA Card Services,” the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Jill Kelley, 37, is not from Tampa Bay. She grew up in Pennsylvania with her four siblings. She is first generation American. Her parents moved to the U.S. from Lebanon in the 1970s.

She started to volunteer at MacDill after Kelley “organized galas and fashion shows benefiting the American Red Cross and the Tampa Museum of Art,” according to the Tampa paper. However, she couldn’t find her niche in those social circles and moved on to MacDill where she soon started organizing the most prominent military benefits for wounded warriors at the base.

The Kelley family soon befriended Petraeus and his wife as well as other leading members of the military brass who frequently visited CentCom headquarters. Those connections combined with her family’s financial problems would have motivated the FBI to look deeper into Kelley’s past.

“I can’t think of a better target for a foreign intelligence source than a woman who is connected to America’s top military leaders and who is also struggling financially,” said a Pentagon security official who asked not to be named.

49 Comments on "Kelley’s financial strife adds clues to FBI email investigation"

  1. So now General John Allen is under investigation too? With General Petraeus and Christopher Kubasik from Lockheed that makes three major positions of power being changed for extramarital scandals. Something really fishy is going on and I don't think it's any coincidence that this has happened shortly after the election.

  2. Eddie Murphy will be the new CIA director!!!

  3. There is a reality show opportunity here somewhere.

  4. Just don't want them to get distracted from Benghazi with all this "Real Housewives" drama. It's all smoke and mirrors.

  5. 30,000 emails?? If the FBI didn't investigate Comcast, etc might–for them hogging the internet.

  6. Wow this woman gets around. When dose Obama admit he ''knew her'' LOL be great if that happened.

    Seems the social pool in the Pentagon is smaller than most suspect.

  7. What about private life?

  8. At lease he was smart enough not to get mixed up with one of those female astronauts! They are the real crazy ex-girlfriends.

  9. I cant get an email restored I deleted a week ago. Yet the FBI can go back years and retrieve emails. Now what in the hell is going on. But on the bright side Patreeus will be subpoenaed by congrees on the Benghazi tragedy. Looks like the whole thing backfired on whoever came up with this. Should make for some interesting reading in the up coming weeks and months. One more thing. If these Generals are that stupid to leave a paper trail makes you wonder what they are doing to earn their pay.

  10. Next we'll hear that President Clinton says he's "just friends" with the two ladies.

  11. How does one generate 30,000 pages of emails? You'd get carpal tunnel syndrome doing that. I've work at my job for 18 years and have never generated anywhere close to that amount.

  12. Tribulationtime | November 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    it seems weird all that FBI attention for sex matters…..I suppose nobody would reckonise what…..someone is linked with counterfait parts from China. I mean it is better to shawllow by public opinion than say : This is the security breach and this plan, this weapon system and this encryptation code is useless. i think so. CIA – Lebanon- Hezbollah-Israel-Syria-Iran….. too much frightening to think about.

  13. From a NY Times article on the subject:

    “There should be an investigation not of the personal behavior of General Petraeus and General Allen but of what surveillance powers the F.B.I. used to look into their private lives,” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in an interview. “This is a textbook example of the blurring of lines between the private and the public.”

  14. Lebanese spy!!!!!

  15. The plot thickens and the BS rises.

  16. Marcellus Hambrick | November 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

    Why are military and CIA held to higher standards than President Clinton was? Just wondering.

  17. BTW, first generation American from Lebanon, and hanging out at CENTCOM. Which has area responsibility for SWA. This will make one hell of a movie script. Lots of people with stars had their heads up their 4th Point of Contact.

  18. Marcellus Hambrick | November 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm |

    What next? An Iranian in the US involved with a US general or admiral? A Venezuelan?

  19. Marcellus Hambrick | November 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

    What next? An Iranian in the US involved with a US general or admiral? A Venezuelan? Huh?

  20. UCMJ Article 134 covers adultery. The third condition is what I refer to as the General Officer Escape Clause!

  21. I don’t know if it has been mentioned here,but Jill Kelley also has a twin sister who is involved with this scandal.

    “David Petraeus affair: Florida twins courted generals and racked up millions in debt”

  22. Since i keep seeing Benghazi brought up, correct me if i'm wrong but isn't the Ambassador to a mission or embassy ultimately in charge of the security? Do not he or she decide the level of security they want or will allow at a embassy or consulate?

  23. Can some of you military guys clear something up for me… Why are these guys resigning (other than that they have personal ethics)? Is there some rule in the military that says they have to? I mean Clinton did the same, and he has access more than Petraeus… So what gives?

  24. IKNOWIT- They serve at the pleasure of the President…..And its like Musical Chairs, there are only so many spots for General Officers bty the # of stars they have. No chair available, and you are out of the game…….

  25. Sounds like right out of the old 1950"s edition of "Spy School". Prominent perty girl with "extra" trainng?

  26. This is a low grade nonconsequial scandel of no importance that occurs everyday in congress,being sensationalized by a obama control leftist news media, to cover up his & his administration's(h clinton) complicity, incompitent,& criminal behavior in the mega Libyan disaster.

  27. Petraeus betrayed his country in two wars to further his carreer and personal image, little wonder that he betrayed his family too to ensure his hagiography said his shit smelled sweet.

  28. Maybe, I am "old school" but why do a bunch of generals need a socialite to handle social events for the military? Shouldn't they be off fighting a war instead of playing house?

  29. ELDERLYREPTILE | November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    BOX SCORE (involving branches of the service):
    1. The Air Force, sex related scandals
    2. The Navy, a little of everything
    3. The Army, security and sex scandals
    4. "The Corps", pending…jury still out
    Leave us not forget: The higher up the food-chain one climbs the more vulnerable to scandal one becomes. Computers ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND!

  30. …the plot thickens…looks like this is gonna get REAL serious….the sh*t filter has been full for a long time! time to clean up!!

  31. Sorry, how the fuck is this tech related news other than it being emails? Seriously, "sex scandals" are not news.

  32. JM shock and awe uganda 142 12 at home.

  33. While we're talking about extramarital affairs – how about Obama & Reggie Love and several other "close assistants" "body men" or whatever you want to call them. If you think rival heterosexual lovers can be vindictive, you ain't seen nothin' yet. When homosexuals get vindictive, now that's really interesting.

  34. Just another case showing that a vagina can bring down even the most powerful of men. And people say men run this country. LOL!

  35. Cryptome just pushed a list of Army Ball attendees:

    First people on the list are the Allens (John & Kathy). #90 (89th on the list) is Scott and Jill Kelley, affiliated as Civic Leader, but with a Corporate Affiliation.

    Sadly, Petraeus did not attend. Perhaps he was working…

  36. Who cares frig move on how about some real news?

  37. Meatpopsicle | November 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    Well I bang her

  38. The reason why American men are so vulnerable to female is because prostitution is illegal in the US. If it was legal like it is in most countries men could "get it" whenever they wanted and females would have much less power to manipulate a man. But since most men in America haven't really been men in 50+ years they let women make prostitution illegal and now they pay the price.
    We here in Eastern Europe laugh at how neutered the American male has become.

  39. The backwards policy of the FBI to treat financial problems as a security risk does not make any sense. If a person were apt to be bribed, they would have money. If the bar is not being able to make payments on a multi-million commercial property, which probably lost half it's net worth with the real estate stock market crash during the Bush administration, then everyone is a "security risk". The reports in the media state that the compound was under CIA control. Petraeus was a Rumsfeld man. Sec. Panetta ordered an Inspector General investigation. Broadwell was in Denver talking at a conference about Benghazi. I agree with Bob Baer on CNN that there is more to it than just a "scandal". Kelly was asking for help because she was being harassed, and the computer forensics have proven this to be true. Now, the focus is on the victims financials and her events in support of Veterans? This diversionary tactic will clearly not work this time. We can see the FBI raiding Broadwells' house on TV.

  40. There is no way they'll use this as a plot for a porn film. No way. An alpha-male in uniform and his hawt biographer. A doctor, his horny wife and her identical twin sister. No freaking way.

  41. Defence Tech?!!!!!!!!! Really, What the heck is this. Nothing to do with defence tech thats for sure. Extramarital affairs of politicians, really? This is supposed to be a defence technical news source not a soap opera tell all scandal tabloid. I am disgusted.

  42. How often did crap like this occur back in the '80s? We let everybody get away with way too much. Generals busy themselves playing politician to advance their careers as this is more valued than merit. Meanwhile the Democrats champion the DADT repeal and other "reforms" that will only open up the gates to more scandal, quotas, and similar nonsense that degrades the overall quality of our military?

    We need to start choosing our leaders based on merit again.

  43. Another story I saw suggested that Petraus was blackmailed by the Obama administration to say that the Benghazi incident was a popular protest due to the movie instead of what it really was. Now that Obama is reelected, Petraus is gone.

  44. dubweiser101 | November 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

    We all have to get our rocks off some time, some where. As long as it doesn't threaten national security it's no ones business who or what officials fuck or don't.

  45. Casualties of war.

    We lost two generals in a bitch fight.

  46. she must be good in bed

  47. So a dude with a powerful job has a lover…what is really the issue?

  48. ripthesystem | November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |

    Hey, you guys are missing the point. The Generals and biographer all had excellent credit. They were the ones violating the rules. Who cares what the socialites credit score was!!!!!!!! Just goes to show you how futile a credit report is in a top secret clearance background check.

  49. Armando P Diaz | November 25, 2012 at 3:50 am |

    I do not hear McCain screaming fire on this one. There has to be a benefit to him otherwise he would be placing his face on the news seeking attention.

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