FBI agents are mourning the death of one of the Bureau’s top financial crimes supervisors who reportedly shot and killed himself on a crowded nite-club dance floor, according to top FBI insiders.
Salvatore “Sal” Cincinelli, a former Wall Street broker who joined the FBI in 2010, died last week during a night out after an FBI training session, sources said.
Cincinelli was one a supervisory special agent who spearheaded many of the FBI’s high-profile and complex Wall Street investigations, including probing the finances of the Clinton Foundation. After leaving his Wall Street career, Cincinelli was first assigned to the New York field office (SDNY) and later promoted to HQ in Washington, DC. He was a native New Yorker as well.
“Very very bright guy,” one FBI insider said. “Such a young guy, it really gets you in the gut. He put in the hours too, was always working hard.”
Cincinelli was 41.
Cincinelli was reportedly out partying with FBI colleagues at the Container Bar, a trendy watering hole in Austin, TX. The group had been drinking and dancing, according to sources. Later in the evening Cincinelli reportedly turned the gun on himself on a crowded dance floor.
Bar owner Bridget Dunlap did not respond to phone calls seeking details on the incident.
FBI agents on site and police instructed witnesses to delete any video and photographs of the event and cleared out the bar, according to reports. Likewise, FBI officials instructed Austin Police to not release any details of the death to the media, sources confirmed. Witnesses at the nite club were also told to “stay offline” and “keep quiet” about the shooting, sources said.
The FBI has not commented on Cincinelli’s death.
According to his resume, Cincinelli was a Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s Complex Financial Crimes Unit. He managed the FBI’s financial crimes program for the Northeast region, and wwas a detailee from the FBI to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Before working at FBI Headquarters, SSA Cincinelli led financial crime investigations in the FBI’s flagship New York Field Office. SSA Cincinelli conducted investigations involving market manipulation, corporate & accounting fraud, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, insider trading, and antitrust violations, among others. SSA Cincinelli worked as a fixed-income trader prior to joining the FBI, and held an MBA in Quantitative Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
A previous news story in the Wall Street Journal highlighted Cincinelli soon after he joined the FBI:
Cincinelli walked away from a career as a credit trader with an MBA in quantitative finance to join the FBI. He said that for an investigation he’s working on, he recently interviewed a person on Wall Street who specializes in collateralized debt obligations, bonds that are created from collections of corporate debt and sold to investors in slices.
He said the conversation lasted an hour and at the end of it the other agent who had accompanied him turned to Cincinelli and said, “I don’t even know how I would ask those questions.”
But making the switch from Wall Street, where seven-figure salaries are common, to much lower-paying government work isn’t always easy.
“Some of my friends said, ‘Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?’” said Cincinelli, whose profile on LinkedIn shows he has held positions at Bank of America and Global FX.
Cincinelli declined to discuss his prior work and said his wife initially was furious with his decision to join the FBI. She was worried for her husband’s safety and unhappy about the lengthy FBI training programs.
— Tomas Paine