March 12th, 2009
06:22 PM ET
5 years ago

FBI searches Washington technology office

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Federal agents arrested a District of Columbia government official and a Washington-area businessman on conspiracy charges Thursday and searched the offices of the district's chief technology officer as part of a corruption probe.

Yusuf Acar, a contracting officer for Washington's city government, and Sushil Bansal, a former city employee, are accused of swindling the city out of several million dollars by inflating purchase orders and billing the city for work by non-existent employees of Bansal's companies. They made initial appearances in federal court on Thursday.

Both are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and money laundering, while Acar faces separate charges of wire fraud and conflict of interest, according to court papers.

As part of the probe, agents raided the office of Washington's chief technology officer, the agency responsible for overseeing the city's telecommunications infrastructure. The raid came a week after the Obama administration named the office's former director, Vivek Kundra, as the White House chief information officer, but a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that Kundra is not involved in the case.

The White House called the probe "a serious matter," but referred further questions to the Justice Department.

Updated: 6:22 p.m.

– CNN's Carol Cratty and Terry Frieden contributed to this report.


Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Ex-Republican

    Are these right wing nut cases really that illiterate? They have no comprehension of the written word.

    FORMER head of office...look it up you narrow minded half brained dim wits!

    March 12, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Peterson

    that's crazy how cnn is breaking news out of nothing

    March 12, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    @ Mike in Fairfax, who asked "Color me stupid… but what in the heck does "succeed from the union" mean???"

    It means a whole bunch of ignorant people don't know any better and post on CNN as if they know what they're talking about anyway.

    The word is SECEDE people...there are online dictionaries to help you.

    March 12, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. teutonicus

    wow, to Jean: 6 (SIX) spelling and grammar mistakes in your short (stupid) comment. That says it all!

    March 12, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. Soccer Nana

    From the Huffington Post:

    WASHINGTON — FBI agents have arrested a District of Columbia government worker and another man while they search the offices of the city's chief technology officer.

    The head of that city office, Vivek Kundra, recently left to take a White House technology post.

    A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because charges had not yet been unsealed, said worker Yusuf Acar was arrested Thursday. Another man, Sushil Bansal, was also arrested. A court appearance is expected later in the day.

    Katherine Schweit, spokeswoman for the FBI's Washington field office, said the search was being conducted as part of an ongoing investigation.

    Schweit declined to give the subject of the investigation, or comment further on the case.

    President Barack Obama named Kundra earlier this month to help oversee government technology, including the ability of computer systems to speak to each other and security for vast federal information databanks.

    Mafara Hobson, a spokeswoman for Mayor Adrian Fenty, said an investigation is ongoing, but she would not reveal any specific information about the case.

    March 12, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. gaysforpalin

    even IF Kundra is not the current target of the investigation, the corruption happened on his watch...and Saint Barack wants him for CIO?

    LOOL!!

    tick tock

    March 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Ex-Republican

    @Jean March 12th, 2009 12:39 pm ET

    FYI: Bush would be the most inexperienced, but in his case, he even sucked at reading a teleprompter. As we noted while the towers were falling, he was catching up on his reading level, in kindergarden.

    March 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. erica

    Thanks Mike.. it means I can't spell!! ( he he ahaaah)
    I was referring to Chuck Norris and his bid for President of Texas if it SECEDES from the Union...

    March 12, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. John

    The hatred of America by the right is growing everyday. the same old lines repeated without any understanding or concept of what they mean. No wonder teh right has lost all respect. You puppets are a bigger threat to America than any terrorist group ever was.

    March 12, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Seth

    Really Ex-Republican,

    You must have been a log cabin Republican before, but anyway this does have possible implications to Obama's appointment.

    March 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. WatchfulCowboy

    Kevin in Colorado – what you live in and your years of education don't make you smart. All though I do have a masters and live in a manufactured home – I have found that my knowledge of people comes more from experience – not my degree.
    As for this ticker – to soon to tell a darn thing about what the issue is. I will wait till the truth is known.

    March 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. C W

    Geez, people, Nancy Pelosi is not the President! You just can't handle a woman being Speaker of the House.

    CNN: "No details of the search were immediately available." Then why are you reporting this? You are acting like a tabloid!

    "Today, a corpse was found in the home of a prominent Washington politician." (CNN neglects to mention that it was an ant caught in a trap...)

    March 12, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. kate

    This is why Obama is such an outstanding president. The majority of people can/will jump to conclusions while he will remain calm and confident as the entire truth comes to light and do so without making personal or imflammatory attacks. Press on Mr. President!

    March 12, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. WW

    Don't be so quick to judge Obama Adm...its the Reps who are corrupted.

    Here is the story in details http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dc/2009/03/breaking_dc_tech_official_bust.html

    March 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. WhoCares?

    Probably bad news for Obama and his administration but I think i will hold off with the whole blame game until we know excatly what was going on.

    March 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. dave B

    Hey ijoe isn't progressive a communist term . yope communizum ( phonetic look it up in russian )

    Hee hehehheeeeee

    March 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Ex-Republican

    Log cabin you say? Yea, I'm an ex-republican, and a veteran. When the republican party abandoned my constitution, via the patriot act, I abandoned them.

    So if that makes me a quitter, so be it. But I don't quit my country, I quit my "Party First"!

    March 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. Kevin

    "Follow this.
    1) Chicago politics is corrupt.
    2) Obama rose fast in it.
    3) Obama is corrupt.
    4) Obama appointed him
    5) He is corrupt.
    6) The FBI figured it out.

    One Big A.. Mistake America"

    ..

    You just defined the term "Broadbrush." Obviously Obama is not corrupt or the right wing machine would have found something a long time ago. Believe it or not, there are some CLEAN politicians in Chicago.

    March 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. AndyL

    Watchful Cowboy, apparently a masters degree "don't" help your grammer.

    March 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Ralph

    Wow, the Obamapologists are out in force.

    This IS Kundra's staff. He is the former CIO of DC but only by a week. He just stepped down.

    March 12, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. WatchfulCowboy

    Andy L – Masters in Engineering not English

    March 12, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Ghost

    While I am less that satisified with Obama's picks, it pales in comparison to many left by the former president. The ex head of FEMA comes to mind.

    But I digress. This is porbably the only flaw with this man thus far. But I would really not wanna compare morals between the dems and the repubs. Especially not now. I mean, these people that Obama selected had tax problems....not jail problems like others have.

    March 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Seth

    To Ex-Republican

    I'm also a Veteran (Iraq War, USMC) and I feel all the Democrats have done is abandon this war and set us up for failure. Sorry to hear Bush wiretapped you, but I don't know anyone else who has had their freedoms taken (other than in wild theory).

    To each his own.

    March 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. karen-Phoenix

    Attitude People!!! Positive! WE will be stronger!! WE will be an honest country!!! Greed has destroyed us. God Bless President Obama and his team!!! Clean house President and give us NEW energy–wind, solar and National Health Care(greedy pharmacuticals and insurance out!) and GOOD public education to keep up with the world and WE, the American working class can rebuild this country into what it once was!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. PKT

    WHAT ABOUT BRISTOL?

    March 12, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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