Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 7 News List

Former deputy to Obama's technology chief arrested

AP , WASHINGTON

A District of Columbia employee and a technology consultant were charged with corruption on Thursday after an FBI raid on the former office of a city official who now works for US President Barack Obama.

The charges were made formal in a federal court hearing as the FBI finished searching Washington旧 technology office, which was led until recently by Obama旧 new computer chief, Vivek Kundra.

Yusuf Acar, the acting chief security officer in the city旧 負echnology office, was ordered held without bond pending a hearing on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said US$70,000 in cash was found during a search of Acar旧 Washington home and that he posed a serious flight risk.

Technology consultant Sushil Bansal of suburban Virginia was released, but was ordered not to conduct overseas financial transactions or leave the Washington metropolitan area.

Bansal is due back in court on April 21, and prosecutors said they were hopeful that a plea agreement could be reached in his case.

Acar worked under Kundra, Obama旧 pick to coordinate federal computer systems. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say whether the White House knew the investigation was under way when Kundra was chosen last week, but he called the case 贈 serious matter.�

Acar, a 40-year-old native of Turkey, had a US$127,468-a-year position purchasing the city旧 computer equipment and lining up contract workers for numerous city agencies, court documents show.

Authorities say Acar and Bansal, along with others, defrauded the government through a variety of schemes, including billing the city for items that were never delivered and 帯host� contract employees who did not work.

The scheme involved Acar approving falsified bills and splitting the money with vendors including Bansal, who submitted them, court documents alleged.

Bansal, a native of India, whose 42nd birthday is next week, is a former city employee and the founder and chief executive of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp. The company has offices in Washington and India and did more than US$13 million in business with the District of Columbia government in the past five years, according to court documents.

One contract involved providing computer support for the city旧 Department of Motor Vehicles.

The company was also given a contract to upgrade the city旧 human resources computer records and sold virus detection software to the city.

In August Bansal was named entrepreneur of the year by the Association of Indians in America.

An FBI affidavit supporting the arrest warrants indicates that several other businesses and individuals were involved in the alleged schemes, but the other people were identified only by their initials.

The FBI worked with another employee in the city旧 technology office, who was in on the scheme and secretly recorded conversations with Acar and Bansal as part of the investigation, according to the affidavit.

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