One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the FBI. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Broeksmit couldn't believe he was voluntarily meeting with the FBI. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau's New


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