Victor Vargas
Victor Vargas
Name Victor Montero
Title Victor Vargas
Occupation Political bundler
Civil attorney (disbarred)
Pathology Triple murderer
White collar criminal
Corrupt attorney
Con artist
Status Permanently disbarred
Imprisoned for life
Actor John Ortiz
First Appearance "Political Animal"

Victor Vargas Montero is a con artist and triple murderer with a history of running financial scams.


Vargas was born as Victor Vargas Montero. He grew up in Coral Gables, Florida, where he started stealing from investors in the imports racket he worked for. When he was caught, arrested, and convicted of fraud in 1998, Vargas skipped bail, changed his name, and moved to an unknown part of the U.S., where he earned a law degree and became a civil attorney. Vargas started stealing money from clients; he was eventually caught and disbarred in 2003. He then moved to New York and used his real first name, but changed his surname to that of his middle name. Vargas became a bundler for various political campaign fundraisers and liked the attention he got working for them.

Vargas started stealing money from people in order to increase the donations made to campaigns and elevate his profile. Through one of his politicians, State Assemblyman Jim Gilles, Vargas met Todd Stewart, who introduced him to his roommate, Sean Witt, in 2008. Vargas convinced Witt to invest $5,000,000 with him. He also convinced Witt's colleague, Josh Perlberg, to invest $20,000,000 with him. Witt eventually uncovered Vargas's scam and tried to blackmail him into giving him his money back. At that moment, Vargas realized he had to kill him, and managed to purchase a handgun that he planned to use to kill Witt.

Political Animal

On October 9, 2008, Vargas broke into Witt's apartment and shot him to death. Stewart and another roommate of Witt's, Dan Pressman, showed up unexpectedly, and Vargas was forced to kill them too. Vargas then tried to stage the scene and make it appear as if Pressman killed the other two and then himself. However, when Detectives Green and Lupo interview him about the murders, Vargas realizes that the frame-up didn't work. Vargas tries to subtly point them to Stewart's closet boyfriend, Gilles, by falsely telling them about an argument Gilles and Stewart had on the night of the murder. At Senator Melanie Carver's political preparation, the detectives interview Vargas again after they discover that Witt was his client. Vargas acts like he doesn't know what they are talking about, and when they ask about his alibi, he claims he was doing a cleanup of the last event and talked to a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Franklin Slater. Later, Vargas is arrested on an open-bench warrant for skipping bail while he is walking Carver down the red carpet.

At his arraignment, Vargas tries to claim that the whole thing was a mistake and the bail-skipping was cleared up years ago. The judge sets bail at $3,000,000 and rules that they will reconvene on extradition. Vargas posts bail and sends letters to Perlberg, EADA Michael Cutter, and his defense attorney Sylvia Standish, apologizing for the inconvenience and claiming he is going to South America. He then goes to a client's apartment and swallows a bunch of pills in an attempt to kill himself. The police and prosecutors arrive in time to save him and he is arrested for murder. At his second arraignment, Vargas fires his attorney and opts to represent himself. He meets with Cutter and ADA Connie Rubirosa, where he states that they have no case. At trial, he claims Slater had motive to kill Witt, because Witt called him on the night of the murder, warning him not to spend the money Vargas raised for him. Vargas claims that this would have caused major setbacks in his campaign, in addition to the fact the man who raised the funds was a crook. Vargas then delivers the rest of his witness list, which includes his politician clients.

Vargas calls Carver to the stand and claims that she didn't want to know about his past because of the money. He also claims that she killed Witt in order to keep the money coming despite knowing who Vargas was, and was using his political connections, including DA Jack McCoy, to protect herself. McCoy calls Vargas to his office and has Carver meet Vargas in the bathroom. Carver accuses him of ruining her campaign and informs him that McCoy is now indicting her for running a corrupt enterprise. Carver begs him to do the right thing, but Vargas simply replies that it is part of the game. Unbeknownst to Montero, McCoy had Carver wear a wire, and he uses the recording at his trial. Vargas testifies that he didn't think his clients killed Witt, but that he didn't either. Cutter then uses Vargas's love for his job to make him break down on the stand, and Montero begs Carver to say that she liked him. The jury eventually finds him guilty on all counts, and he is sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Known Victims

  • Pre-1998, Coral Gables, Florida: Numerous unnamed people (all scammed)
  • 1998-2003, unknown location: Numerous unnamed clients (all scammed)
  • 2003-2008, New York City, New York: Numerous unnamed people (all scammed)
  • October 9, 2008, New York City, New York: The apartment shooting:
    • Sean Witt (shot once in the chest)
    • Todd Stewart (shot four times in the chest)
    • Dan Pressman (shot once in the head; also attempted to set him up as a patsy)