BOSTON (CBS) – A battle is shaping up over the Whitey Bulger reward money.
Keith Messina of Las Vegas said he spotted Bulger standing on a Santa Monica pier back in 2008.
“Soon as I got back into town, I went to the website AMW, America’s Most Wanted, looked it up, put my tip in: name, phone number and the whole nine yards,” said Messina.
Messina said he submitted the tip in 2008, but nothing happened.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports
This past June, a few blocks from Messina’s Whitey sighting, Bulger and Catherine Greig were caught. But, the FBI reward for Bulger’s arrest is going to someone else.
“Past couple of weeks ago, we filed a claim and we got a denial letter saying ‘Nope, you’re not getting it,’” said Messina.
Messina said officials told him the $2 million Bulger reward was going to a woman in Iceland who also saw Bulger while on vacation.
So, Messina is planning to sue the FBI.
“They’re hiding everything… What happened to my tip?” said Messina.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office sent a statement to WBZ-TV:
“At this time, we cannot discuss any details about the reward, including whether or not it was paid and to whom. The FBI was clear from the beginning that protecting the identity of the tipster was paramount.”
Steven Davis, whose sister was allegedly killed by Bulger and his gang said the story of unnamed tipster from Iceland is suspicious.
“They have an obligation to let us all know the truth,” said Davis.
Messina said that even though the FBI never appeared to follow his tip, he still deserves to get half of the reward. He said his lawyers will be filing a lawsuit in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said they could not comment on any potential lawsuit.