Private eye busted in Chinese government plot is an ex-NYPD sergeant

A former NYPD sergeant is the private eye busted in a Chinese government plot known as “Operation Fox Hunt,” according to his online resume.

Michael McMahon, 53, is accused of participating in a multi-year scheme to “threaten, harass, surveil and intimidate” a former Chinese government official living in New Jersey into returning to China to face unspecified criminal charges there.

In April 2017, McMahon helped locate and gather intelligence about the ex-official, identified only as “John Doe-1,” and also suggested parking outside his home to “let him know we are there,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

McMahon is a licensed private detective in New Jersey who’s president of the McMahon Investigative Group, according to the Brooklyn US Attorney’s Office, which cited “open source information.”

A LinkedIn profile says McMahon founded the company in January 2003 and retired as an NYPD sergeant in June 2003 after 14 years as a city cop.

The profile also says he’s worked since January 2005 as an investigator for leading New Jersey defense lawyer Brian Neary, whose clients have included rapper Juelz Santana and former Perth Amboy Police Chief Benjamin Ruiz.

In 2018, Neary helped Ruiz score an acquittal on allegations he ordered city mechanics to work on his motorcycle, 1964 Mustang and a friend’s Buick.

Neary didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

McMahon is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday afternoon on a charge of conspiring to act as an illegal agent of a foreign government.

If convicted, he would face a maximum of five years in prison.

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