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ITMG Insider Threat Cases – November 30, 2020

LSU student allegedly tampered with 169 university-owned computers, used them to mine cryptocurrency

BATON ROUGE – Police arrested a college student after he allegedly installed malware on more than one hundred devices across different LSU computer labs over the course of about two years. Campus police arrested Carlos Munoz-Salazar, 25, after a campus technology services employee found a USB drive he allegedly left in one of the infected computers. Arrest records suggest the same device was used to install software on 169 different computers which allowed Munoz-Salazar to control them remotely. After gaining access, he then allegedly installed a program that allowed him to mine cryptocurrency from the university-owned computers.

British-Australian academic freed by Iran in apparent prisoner exchange

Kylie Moore-Gilbert, the British-Australian academic detained by Iran for more than two years on espionage charges, has been freed in an apparent prisoner exchange for three Iranians. Moore-Gilbert, a lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at the University of Melbourne, had been detained in Iran since 2018. The 33-year-old was found guilty of espionage last year and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In a statement, Moore-Gilbert thanked the Australian government and others who had campaigned for her freedom, describing the past two years and three months as “a long and traumatic ordeal.” She said her departure from Iran was “bittersweet,” despite the injustice she had been subjected to. “I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for the great nation of Iran and its warm-hearted, generous and brave people,” Moore-Gilbert said in a statement released via the Australian government.

Former Prosecutor and Police Chief Sentenced for Framing Their Relative with a Crime to Conceal Their Own Fraud

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Former prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and former police chief Louis Kealoha were sentenced during separate hearings in federal court today to 13 years and seven years in prison, respectively, following a number of convictions, including conspiring to frame a relative with a crime to conceal their own fraud. The evidence at trial established that the Kealohas used their considerable power, including commandeering the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit, to frame Gerard with stealing their mailbox. To accomplish this, the conspirators prepped the mailbox to be “stolen,” selectively edited grainy surveillance video to conceal their preparatory acts, falsely identified Gerard as the culprit captured by the video, falsified police reports, withheld and destroyed evidence, and repeatedly lied about their activity to investigators, the federal grand jury, and the District Court for the District of Hawaii.

General Manager Of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Charged With Honest Services Wire Fraud For Taking Bribes In Public Bidding Process

Bribes Included Family Trip To China With Hotel Stays, Meals, and Gifts

SAN FRANCISCO – Harlan Kelly, the General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SF PUC), has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with honest services wire fraud, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Craig D. Fair. The complaint alleges that Kelly, 58, of San Francisco, engaged in a long-running bribery scheme and corrupt partnership with Walter Wong, a San Francisco construction company executive and permit expediting consultant who ran or controlled multiple entities doing business with the City of San Francisco.  The complaint alleges that as part of the scheme, Wong provided items of value to Kelly in exchange for official acts by Kelly that benefited or attempted to benefit Wong’s business ventures. “Public officials owe their honest services to the people of San Francisco,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson.  “Bribery scams undermine our faith in City government.  Our investigation into City Hall corruption will continue.”

Former Background Investigator for Federal Government Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement

WASHINGTON – Michael Johnson, 43-years old, a former background investigator who did work under contract for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), pled guilty today to a charge stemming from his falsification of work on background investigations of federal employees and contractors, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin. Johnson, of Columbia, Missouri, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to making a false statement. The Honorable Trevor N. McFadden scheduled sentencing for February 9, 2021. The charge carries a statutory penalty of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. According to a statement of offense submitted to the Court, Johnson was employed by CACI, a private entity that had a contract to supply background investigative services to DCSA on behalf of the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services, which now is known as OPM’s National Background Investigations Bureau.  Johnson admitted that, between approximately April 2015 and February 2016, he submitted roughly 65 Reports of Investigations on background investigations, in which he falsely represented that he had interviewed a source or reviewed a record regarding the subject of the background investigation.  In fact, Johnson had not conducted the interviews or obtained the records of interest.  These reports were utilized and relied upon by the agencies requesting the background investigations to determine whether the subjects were suitable for positions having access to classified information, for positions impacting national security, for receiving or retaining security clearances, or for positions of public trust.

Linda Jean Pangelinan Palacios Sentenced for Unauthorized Access of a Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud

Hagatña, Guam – SHAWN N. ANDERSON, United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, announced that defendant Linda Jean Pangelinan Palacios, age 48, from Dededo, Guam, was sentenced in the United States District Court of Guam to five months imprisonment for Unauthorized Access of a Protected Computer in Furtherance of Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030(a)(4) and 1030(c)(3)(A). Palacios was previously employed as a Driver’s License Examiner I with the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT), Motor Vehicle Division.  Between April 2015 and November 2015, Palacios used her access to the DRT’s computer system to create, process and issue fraudulent Guam driver’s licenses.  Palacios processed at least 75 fraudulent Guam driver’s licenses for her own financial benefit.  Palacios advised law enforcement that she entered information into the system when nobody was around, and she did not think she would ever get caught.

Former D.C. Government Employee Sentenced to 12 Months and a Day in Prison for Fraud Scheme that Cost Government More Than $880,000

WASHINGTON – Eugenia Rapp, 51, of Woodbridge, Virginia, a former D.C. government employee, was sentenced today to serve one year and a day in prison for defrauding the District of Columbia’s Department of Disability Services out of more than $880,000. From approximately 2008 through December 2016, Rapp worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor with the District of Columbia’s Department of Disability Services, Rehabilitation Services Administration (“DCRSA”). The DCRSA Vocational Rehabilitation program provides vocational rehabilitation benefits, like college tuition, to qualified individuals with disabilities to help them prepare for and engage in gainful employment. Individuals must be D.C. residents to be eligible for the benefits. From 2012 through 2016, Rapp conspired with others to defraud the D.C. government by having benefits awarded to individuals who weren’t eligible to receive them. In her role as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, Rapp was responsible for determining whether an individual was eligible to receive the benefits. Notwithstanding D.C. government policy regarding conflicts of interest, Rapp served as the vocational rehabilitation counselor for more than 20 individuals whom she described as being related to her. She knew these individuals were not eligible to receive benefits, but ensured that she was assigned to be their vocational rehabilitation counselor, so she could process and approve their applications. She also altered lease agreements and instructed individuals to get D.C. identification cards to show proof of D.C. residency even though they did not live in the District.

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