The U.S. Justice Department has expanded its investigation of Fox News and is looking into “friends” that former network chief Roger Ailes kept on the payroll, according to CNN.
Investigators have been asking “about mysterious confidants of Ailes — people who were known inside Fox as ‘friends of Roger,'” wrote CNN’s Brian Stelter.
He wrote: “Ailes, through Fox News, employed a number of longtime friends as consultants, for purposes that remain unknown. One of the consultants earned $10,000 a month by submitting a monthly invoice to Fox.”
CNN cited four sources in reporting that The United States Postal Inspection Service has joined the Justice Department inquiry in trying to obtain more information about the network’s managers and business practices.
The investigation is being conducted by financial crimes experts, he said.
Fox News and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Earlier this year, CNN reported that the government would focus its investigation on settlements made with women who had accused former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.
Ailes stepped down in disgrace last year after numerous women came forward with similar claims. The government has been investigating whether Fox News should have informed shareholders about the settlement payouts.
According to CNN, government officials have been asking “how the shareholder money was spent; who knew; and who should have known” and have now started looking into people that Ailes kept on the Fox News payroll for unknown reasons.
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