Two Charged With Bribery After FBI Raids D.C. CTO Office - InformationWeek

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3/12/2009
07:19 PM
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Two Charged With Bribery After FBI Raids D.C. CTO Office

The two men previously worked under current federal CIO Vivek Kundra, who has not been named or charged in the investigation.

A former government employee and a consultant who worked under federal CIO Vivek Kundra have been charged in an investigation into an alleged scheme of bribery, kickbacks, ghost employees, and forged timesheets.

Kundra became the CTO for the District of Columbia in 2007 and left about a month ago. Last week, he was named federal CIO under the Office of Management and Budget by President Obama. Kundra, who now oversees the federal government's computer and IT systems, has not been named or charged in the investigation.

A federal government source close to the matter and a city government source said that they do not believe Kundra is a target of the investigation. Kundra has not been named in court documents detailing the charges and what led up to them.

Washington, D.C., information systems security officer Yusuf Acar, 40, worked for the city for years and was one of nearly 300 employees under Kundra in 2008. Authorities allege Acar engaged in a conspiracy with several other people to get kickbacks from vendors through inflated contracts and purchase orders and to obtain more money from ghost employees.

Acar was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of honest wire services fraud, one count of conflict of interest, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering during a federal court hearing Thursday. He's being held without bond until a hearing Tuesday. The court documents state that Acar told a co-conspirator that he would "jump on the next plane, go to Turkey, and disappear," if he thought authorities were closing in on him. Authorities also said they found $70,000 in cash at Acar's home.

Former city employee Sushil Bansal, 41, is the only other person who has been charged. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to launder money. He has been released and admonished not to engage in foreign transactions.

Bansal is president and CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp. (AITC), according to the company's Web site. His company biography states that he worked as a project manager in Washington, D.C., government and implemented its financial system before founding AITC, which has several government contracts. It also states that he provided IT consulting and project management services to the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commerce Department, Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Communications Commission.

The arrest warrant states that Bansal's company gave Acar and someone referred to as "Mr. B.M." a $104,166 quote for 2,000 units of McAfee's Foundstone software, while McAfee generated a quote for 500 units of the scanning software designed to comply with health privacy rules. In later conversations, with someone identified as "C.W.," Bansal mentioned that McAfee got $34,000 for the order, according to an arrest affidavit. The court documents state that C.W. was not involved in that scheme from the beginning but learned of it before being bribed to stay quiet. The FBI states that he turned over his share of the proceeds from the crime.

Court records state that the conspiracy involved at least three schemes using ghost employees so the suspects could collect more of the city's money.

Others are identified by initials in the 31-page affidavit for Acar's arrest but it's unclear whether they are private or government employees, and those people have not been charged. The investigation is continuing.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters during a briefing that the administration was aware of the investigation but referred all questions about the case to law enforcement sources.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report detailing the views of more than two dozen industry leaders on what should be top of mind for President Obama's CTO. Download the report here (registration required).

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