Three former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staff, together with two Indian Americans, have been sentenced for their involvement in a conspiracy to steal proprietary US government software program and delicate law-enforcement databases for private achieve.
Sonal Patel, 49, from Sterling, Virginia, obtained a two-year probation sentence in a Washington, DC court docket on January 26, as introduced by the US Department of Justice. Murali Y Venkata, 58, from Aldie, Virginia, confronted a extra extreme penalty with a four-month jail sentence.
Patel had beforehand pleaded responsible in April 2019 to conspiring to commit theft of government property.
In April 2022, Venkata was convicted by a jury on costs together with conspiracy to commit theft of government property and defraud the United States, theft of government property, wire fraud and destruction of information.
Charles Ok Edwards, 63, the third convict in the case, from Sandy Spring, Maryland, was handed a one-year and six-month jail sentence.
Court paperwork and trial proof revealed that Patel and Venkata labored for the Information Technology Department of the DHS’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). Surprisingly, all three had earlier employment on the US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG), in accordance to the Office of Public Affairs.
The trio, comprising Edwards, Patel, and Venkata, conspired to steal proprietary US software program and databases. It contained delicate law-enforcement data, together with personally identifiable data (PII) of over 2,00,000 federal staff from DHS-OIG and USPS-OIG.
They supposed to use the stolen belongings to create a business software program product for sale to government businesses, stated the Office of Public Affairs.
Shockingly, as a part of their scheme, the conspirators shared the stolen software program and databases, together with PII, with software program builders primarily based in India.
After Venkata learnt of the investigation, he deleted incriminating textual content messages and different communications to hinder the investigation, added the court docket paperwork.