The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Honolulu field office welcomed a forensic scientist and new leader recently with the arrival of Special Agent in Charge Steven B. Merrill.
FBI director Christopher Wray announced Merrill’s appointment May 10. Prior to arriving in Hawaii, Merrill most recently served as a financial crimes section chief in the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he led the FBI’s efforts to combat fraud related to COVID-19, including pandemic-related scams, vaccine fraud and other offenses.
Mr. Merrill joined the FBI as a forensic scientist in 1991 and became a special agent in 1994. During his first assignment in the San Francisco Field Office, he worked on the investigation and prosecution of Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber in addition to working on public corruption investigations.
In 2006, Merrill worked as an acting supervisory special agent at FBI Headquarters as a Department of Justice advisor to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. He was promoted to assistant legal attache to New Delhi in 2007 and was the first FBI agent to respond to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Merrill supervised public corruption, civil rights, and antitrust investigations in San Francisco in 2010. He resumed work as assistant legal attache in 2013, in Manila, Philippines.
In 2017, Merrill was promoted to assistant special agent in charge in the Boston Field Office, where he managed white collar crime matters in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.
He also managed the forensic accountant program and oversaw the Varsity Blues college admissions case and the Insys Therapeutics health care fraud case, according to the FBI.
He was promoted to section chief at FBI headquarters in 2019, leading the FBI’s efforts to identify, deter, and disrupt complex financial cases involving health care, money laundering, virtual assets, intellectual property crime threats, and economic crimes.
Merrill earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and master’s degree in forensic science from the George Washington University.