Federal law enforcement officials in New York have announced the arrest on wire fraud charges of a Montana private investigator who allegedly defrauded two of Manhattan’s top litigation firms by promising to sell them “proof” of misconduct by opposing parties and counsel.

The criminal complaint filed Wednesday by the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office charged that Michael Lair had approached New York lawyers working on two high-profile cases and received more than $80,000 to provide information he ultimately failed to produce.

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