When the bomb failed to detonate, Steele discussed with Fairfax his desire for his wife to die in a car accident. Fairfax eventually brought the plot to the attention of local authorities and the FBI.
Department of Justice prosecutors believed Steele’s motive for the plot involved his desire to have a new wife without losing portions of his assets in a divorce settlement.
The FBI investigation determined Steele was looking for his new wife in Ukraine. Because of the case’s connection to Ukraine, U.S.-based investigators sought assistance from the FBI’s Legal Attaché’s office in Kyiv and the Legal Attaché’s contacts with Ukrainian law enforcement authorities.