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.

Comments (4)
  1. Joe says:

    Boy, let’s hope Keith saved that email to AMW. If it exists then he deserves part of the reward. More important, if it exists, it raises a bigger concern as to why that tip was dismissed. I think we all know the answer.

  2. Bill says:

    A out-snitched by another snitch! Whatta ya expect from somebody in Vegas, might as well spin the wheel. The odds ain’t good for suing the feds, buddy, and your tax returns best be current and legit.

  3. Boston_Jarred says:

    I hope this guy gets nothing.
    I was also a snitch at one time. It was never for a reward.
    It was to put some drug dealers who were dealing narcotics and ruining kids lives away.
    I put myself and family in real danger, but in the end, I went through with it.
    I did it for moral reasons. (hard for 99% of humans to believe, I know).
    I hate these people who think they are owed money for turning in people who kill or ruin lives..
    This guy just might get paid…paid a visit from a mob member who hates rats..and many do.
    I’m a proud rat, and my lack of wanting some reward makes me feel much safer.
    Too bad this bozo is willing to put his name out there to get money for something he should have done out of morals alone.
    You usually don’t have to give your name for tips like this.

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