Obama Official Pleads Guilty to Theft of Government Property, Wire Fraud and Scheme to Defraud US Govt

Obama’s Acting Homeland Security Inspector General Charles Edwards pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the US government.

Charles Edwards and his subordinate were indicted on 16 counts of theft and fraud, the Justice Department announced in March 2020.

“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.”

The charges alleged that in addition to stealing government software and databases, Venkata helped Edwards by reconfiguring his laptop so that he could upload the stolen software.

“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,” the Department of Justice said in a press release announcing the indictments. “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.”

Although Edwards left the DHS in 2013, according to the indictment he leveraged his relationship with Venkata to carry out the scheme which began in October of 2014 and continued to April of 2017.

Law & Crime reported:

The ex-watchdog who oversaw the Department of Homeland Security pleaded guilty on Friday to stealing propriety software and sensitive databases from his old job for his private business.

Charles K. Edwards, 61, served in the Obama administration as the Acting Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security between February 2008 until December 2013. He served before that time as the inspector general for the U.S. Postal Service.

During a federal court hearing on Friday morning, Edwards pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss to conspiracy to defraud the United States and theft of government property. Edwards’s sentencing date has not yet been set.

His attorney Courtney Roberts Forrest, from the firm Kaiser Dillon, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

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