Louis Freeh, private eye

  @FortuneMagazine July 25, 2013: 7:26 AM ET
FRE12 louis freeh

Freeh found that he craved the nitty-gritty of casework.


If there is such a thing as the Platonic ideal of a G-man, it would have to resemble Louis Freeh. Even today, 12 years after retiring as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Freeh favors what look like government-issue gray suits with an American flag pin on the lapel. His factual, flat speaking style conjures an FBI agent on the witness stand. Five-foot-nine and trim at age 63, he still looks as if he could sprint down the street after a perp if he had to.

Needless to say, it's been decades since Freeh chased those sorts of perps. These days most of his targets tend to wear white collars, and Freeh has assumed a new mantle: corporate America's most prominent private investigator. In July he was assigned to probe alleged irregularities in the BP oil-spill claims process. That comes on the heels of investigations or oversight roles for Daimler, MF Global, Wynn Resorts, and FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer. Freeh's most headline-grabbing report excoriated Penn State University officials for failing to oversee Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant football coach now in prison for sexually abusing boys.

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