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WASHINGTON, D.C. (THE GUARDIAN)-

By Phillip Swarts

First the Secret Service, now the FBI?

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating whether an undercover FBI agent may have used $14,500 to reward people he was investigating by hiring prostitutes.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is demanding answers after a motion surfaced in a federal court case in California alleging the undercover agent took suspects repeatedly to brothels in the Philippines and then sought $14,500 in reimbursment for "rewards." Adding to the concern is some of the brothels are believed to have used minors for sex.

"If true, this story raises serious questions about the behavior of this agent and the FBI's knowledge of this matter," Grassley wrote in a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller last week.

FBI spokesman Bill Carter said the agency cannot comment on the situation because it is pending in the California courts.

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