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Obama’s Inspector General for DHS Indicted For Attempt to “Defraud the United States”!


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Remember how Obama said his Administration was “scandal free”?

We all knew that was BS.

Remember Benghazi?

Or Fast and Furious?

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Or Lois Lerner?

But now we have another fresh example.

Obama’s Acting Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security has been indicted for fraud and theft of government property:

Here's the news alert from the Department of Justice itself:

Former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Indicted on Theft of Government Property and Scheme to Defraud the United States Government 

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a 16-count indictment against a former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a former subordinate for their alleged theft of proprietary software and confidential databases from the U.S. government as part of a scheme to defraud the U.S. government.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Shea for the District of Columbia, DHS Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari and Inspector General Tammy L. Whitcomb for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) made the announcement.

The indictment charges Charles K. Edwards, 59, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, and Murali Yamazula Venkata, 54, of Aldie, Virginia, with conspiracy to commit theft of government property and to defraud the United States, theft of government property, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.  The indictment also charges Venkata with destruction of records.

According to the allegations in the indictment, from October 2014 to April 2017, Edwards, Venkata, and others executed a scheme to defraud the U.S. government by stealing confidential and proprietary software from DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying information (PII) of DHS and USPS employees, so that Edwards’s company, Delta Business Solutions, could later sell an enhanced version of DHS-OIG’s software to the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a profit.  Although Edwards had left DHS-OIG in December 2013, he continued to leverage his relationship with Venkata and other DHS-OIG employees to steal the software and the sensitive government databases.

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The indictment further alleges that, in addition to stealing DHS-OIG’s software and the sensitive government databases, Venkata and others also assisted Edwards by reconfiguring his laptop so that he could properly upload the stolen software and databases, provided troubleshooting support whenever Edwards required it, and helped him build a testing server at his residence with the stolen software and databases, which contained PII.  As further part of the alleged scheme, Edwards retained software developers in India for the purpose of developing his commercial alternative of DHS-OIG’s software.

The indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation by DHS-OIG and USPS-OIG and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Victor R. Salgado of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Kent of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

Here's more, from Forbes:

Charles K. Edwards, a former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been indicted on 16 counts relating to a scheme to steal software and databases containing the personal information of government employees so he could sell an enhanced version of that software to the Department of Agriculture, the Justice Department announced on Friday.

  • Edwards, 59, and Murali Yamazula Venkata, a 54-year-old former subordinate, were charged with conspiracy to commit theft of government property and to defraud the United States, theft of government property, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
  • Venkata was also charged with destruction of records. 
  • Edwards served as acting DHS inspector general from 2011 through 2013 under the Obama administration, the Washington Post reported in 2014
  • The DOJ alleges that between October 2014 and April 2017, Edwards and Venkata stole software and records containing the personal identifying information of DHS and Postal Service employees so that Edwards’ company, Delta Business Solutions, could sell an “enhanced version” of the software to the Department of Agriculture at a profit. 
  • The DOJ also alleged that Edwards “continued to leverage his relationship” with Venkata and other DHS employees to execute the scheme after he left the office in December 2013.
  • Forbes was unable to reach Edwards, Venkata, or their attorneys for comment.

Key background: The DHS Office of the Inspector General is tasked with providing independent oversight of the Department of Homeland Security. For the 2020 fiscal year, it had a budget of $51.7 billion. Edwards worked for the federal government for 20 years and resigned his post at DHS in December 2013, just three days before a hearing before the Senate where he was due to answer questions, according to the Post. In April, 2014, a Senate oversight panel found that Edwards had “jeopardized the independence” of the DHS Office of Inspector General after investigating whistleblower allegations that he had abused government resources and maintained inappropriate personal friendships with senior DHS officials.



 

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