David "Race" Bannon
David "Race" Bannon (born 1963) is a pseudonym (given after the Jonny Quest character) for David Wayne Dilley, an American fraudster who posed as a former Interpol agent. In his 2006 book Race Against Evil: The Secret Missions of the Interpol Agent Who Tracked the World's Most Sinister Criminals, he claimed to have worked in Asia as a Mormon missionary who transitioned into work as a killer and secret agent: "a 'cleaner,'" said Publishers Weekly, "interrogating and 'eliminating' child pornographers who his boss at Interpol had determined were beyond the reach of other law enforcement agencies."
Bannon's claims were debunked after his arrest in January 2006 for criminal impersonation and other charges.
Interpol impostor status
Interpol's website contains the following statement dated January 31st, 2006:
In 2004, the Interpol General Secretariat issued the following statement about Bannon's book:
- "Interpol's General Secretariat in Lyon has no record of David Race Bannon having been employed and no knowledge of individuals mentioned in Mr Bannon's book. Interpol exists to facilitate the exchange of information between the world's law enforcement agencies and to provide analysis of criminal data and other services. Accordingly, the claims in Mr Bannon's book can only be seen as deceptive and irresponsible fantasy.
- The above disclaimer was distributed to US law enforcement agencies by the US National Central Bureau of Interpol and to other potentially interested parties by the General Secretariat."
Bannon responded to this statement by asserting that the covert nature of his alleged works (including over 100 assassinations) forced Interpol to make such a disavowal of his claims.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Bannon was arrested in Boulder, Colorado on January 27, 2006 on the charge of criminal impersonation, computer crime, and attempted theft. The charges leveled against him assert that he created a fraudulent history of involvement with Interpol and expertise in human trafficking in order to earn fees for consulting and presenting on these topics.
Part of the evidence presented against him was collected by Samuel Browning, a Connecticut lawyer affiliated with Bullshido.net, a website dedicated to rooting out fraudulent practices in the martial arts. The website's involvement in this case began from Bannon's unproven claims of black belt proficiency in Hapkido and Kendo, and developed into further research of Bannon's other claims.
Bannon's guilty plea
On April 24, 2006, David "Race" Bannon pleaded guilty to the charge of criminal impersonation before a Colorado judge. His guilty plea was made in exchange for prosecutors dropping the additional charges of computer crime and attempted theft. According to the district attorney prosecuting the case, Bannon will likely face fines rather than incarceration.
- Article detailing Bannon's arrest
- Press release by the US Department of Justice on Bannon's arrest
- Rocky Mountain News article detailing involvement of Samuel Browning and some of his discoveries
- Charlotte Observer article by Tommy Tomlinson on the Bannon case
- Spotting False Martial Arts Claims: Lessons from the David Bannon Case