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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – November 23, 2020


Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced for Exporting Sensitive Military Related Technology to China

Today, Wei Sun, 49, a Chinese national and naturalized citizen of the United States, was sentenced to 38 months in prison by District Court Judge Rosemary Marquez. Sun previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Sun was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense. Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for use by the United States military. During his employment with the company, Sun had access to information directly related to defense-related technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as “defense articles,” which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the AECA and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).

Parole ended for Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, freeing him to leave the United States

Jonathan Pollard, a former Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel in the 1980s in one of the most controversial espionage cases in modern U.S. history, had his parole ended Friday, freeing him to move to Israel. Pollard, who spent 30 years in prison before being released in 2015, became a cause celebre for Israel, which granted him citizenship in 1995. His case was a source of friction between the two allies for decades. The Justice Department announced Friday that the U.S. Parole Commission had ended his parole, finding after a review of his case that “there is no evidence to conclude that he is likely to violate the law,” department spokeswoman Nicole Navas said in a statement.

10,000 people’s files leaked in COVID-19 data breach in Delaware

On Sunday, Delaware Public Health officials disclosed that an unauthorized person mistakenly received personal information of thousands of people who were tested for the coronavirus over the summer. Delaware’s Division of Public Health says a temporary staff member sent two unencrypted emails in August which included files for 10,000 people. Officials say the mistake occurred when the temporary staffer sent an internal email, meant to be distributed to employees of a call center who help people obtain their test results, to a unauthorized user. The person who received the emails on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 alerted the division about the error and reported deleting the messages. The first email had the information of people tested between July 16 and Aug. 10. The second email included the data of people tested on Aug. 15.

Former Army Green Beret pleads guilty to espionage charge

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former Army Green Beret pleaded guilty Wednesday to divulging military secrets to Russia about his Special Forces unit’s activities in former Soviet republics. Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 45, of Gainesville, Virginia, pleaded guilty to a charge under the federal Espionage Act at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced in February. Debbins, a Minnesota native, had a 15-year relationship with Russian intelligence, dating back to 1996 when he was an ROTC student at the University of Minnesota and on a visit to Russia for an independent study program gave a handler there the names of four Catholic nuns he had visited, according to the charges against him. Shortly thereafter, Russian agents assigned him a code name, “Ikar Lesnikov.”

31 Individuals, Including Three Former Coast Guard Employees, Charged In Test Score-Fixing Scheme at Coast Guard Exam Center

NEW ORLEANS – The United States Attorney’s Office announced, on November 20, 2020, the indictment of 31 individuals related to a test score-fixing scheme at a United States Coast Guard exam center. As alleged in the indictment, DOROTHY SMITH was employed by the Coast Guard as a credentialing specialist at an exam center in Mandeville, Louisiana. SMITH’s position authorized her to enter scores for examinations that merchant mariners were legally required to pass in order to obtain licenses to serve in various positions on vessels. The examinations tested mariners’ knowledge and training to safely operate under the authority of licenses. According to the indictment, for over seven years, SMITH engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States. SMITH took bribes to fix exam scores, enabling license applicants to bypass the required testing. This resulted in the applicants illegally obtaining a range of licenses for officer-level positions, including the most important positions on vessels, such as master, chief mate, and chief engineer.

Former Cleveland VA Medical Center supervisor charged with theft of government property and fraud

U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that a grand jury sitting in Cleveland has returned a 28-count indictment charging William H. Precht, age 53, of Kent, Ohio, with theft of government property, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services fraud, wire fraud, and false statements relating to health care matters. According to the indictment, from October 5, 2010, through January 4, 2019, the defendant is accused of using his position with the Cleveland Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center to engage in a scheme to enrich himself and co-conspirators. The indictment alleges that from on or about October 5, 2010, through on or about February 16, 2018, the defendant fraudulently used his VA-issued purchase card and facilitated the use of other VA employees’ purchase cards to make purchases from a company controlled by the defendant for approximately $1,066,348.

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Charged With Tax, Structuring, and Concealment Offenses

CHICAGO — A special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, a criminal investigative unit within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been indicted on federal tax, structuring, and concealment offenses. ANTHONY SABAINI, who was assigned to HSI’s field office in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is charged with five counts of willfully filing a false federal tax return, one count of structuring a currency transaction, and one count of willfully engaging in a scheme to conceal a material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of DHS, according to an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  Sabaini, 38, of Naperville, Ill., will be arraigned on a date to be set by the Court.

Maryland Man Going To Prison For Defrauding An Orchard Park Aerospace Company Out Of More Than 800,000

BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Amir Jahed a/k/a Amir Jahedmotlagh, 50, of Montgomery Village, Maryland, who was convicted of mail fraud, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin M. Higgins, who handled the case, stated that between 2010 and July 19, 2018, the defendant was an employee of Cobham Mission Systems, a company headquartered in Orchard Park, NY, that was engaged in the development, delivery, and support of aerospace and defense technology and systems. Cobham also had an office located in Westminster, Maryland. As part of his employment, Jahed was assigned company credit cards (purchase cards) and was authorized to make certain purchases on behalf of Cobham for its business operations.  The defendant used his company purchase cards to conduct approximately 600 unauthorized transactions.

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