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. Jon in CA

    @ John says (of Republicans),

    "You puppets are a bigger threat to America than any terrorist group ever was."

    .....

    Actually John, liberal lemmings who fail to question the decisions of their corrupt leaders as we waltz down the path Euro-socialism and use white-flag foreign policy... YOU SIR and your friends are the biggest threat to our country since the time Brits roamed the states wearing red coats.

    March 12, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Bridgette-PA

    NEWS FLASH.....NEWS FLASH......NEWS FLASH.......NEWS FLASH.......

    Updated: 12:57 p.m.

    "A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that the former director, Vivek Kundra, is not involved"

    Now what you Obama hatin' retards....WHAT, WHAT...SAY SOMETHING NOW!

    March 12, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. dave B

    hey ex-republican if abandoning the constitution is your criteria....what party do you belong to???????

    March 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. Seth

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

    I agree.

    March 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well what in the world is the investigation about? Why haven't any FBI spokesperson tell the people what the charges are being brought against these two guys. Obviously with their names, I figure it has something to do with cyber-terrorism.

    March 12, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Jon in CA

    MAJOR NEWS!!!!

    Congressional Democrats have pushed the Justice Deptartment into investigating Arizona Sherrif Joe Arpaio.

    His crime?? Enforcing US laws detaining illegal immigrants. Over 16,000 illegal immigrants have been detained.

    WHO requested this investigation??

    John Conyers (D-Mich)
    Jerrold Nadler (D-Ny)
    Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
    Robert Scott (D-VA)

    THIS is going to blow up. Democrats targeting a LAW ABIDING SHERRIF because they don't want to enforce laws deporting illegals is going to be baaaaad news for democrats!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  7. ANGIE IN PA

    SEEMS LIKE PRESIDENT OBAMA IS UNCOVERING ALL THE CORRUPT CRIMES GOING ON UNDER BUSH!

    March 12, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. dave B

    Hey Ghost a crook by any other name is still a crook ......spin that.

    HEhehehehhheeeeeeeee

    March 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. John from LA

    @ Kevin-

    ARE YOU NUTS????-all who come out of Chicago are tainted!-You're obvious a novice to American politics-go and twitter (whatever that means) and listen to your ipod-you idiot!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Deborah

    Kundra to be the federal chief information officer because of his "depth of experience in the technology arena and a commitment to lowering the cost of government operations to this position."

    His group is most likely the group that made it possible for anyone to DONATE money to the Champagne without any checks on identity.

    Maybe we will find out soon....

    That YES INDEED FORIEGN PLEDGES WHERE ACCEPTED!

    A Clear IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE!

    Maybe our prayers have been answered!

    March 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Typical White Person

    No wonder so many of you are against standardized testing for reading comprehension.

    "Federal agents searched the office of the District of Columbia's chief technology officer Thursday — a week after President Barack Obama named the former head of that office as his administration's chief information officer, according to CNN affiliate WJLA."

    Translation in small words and short sentences: Today (Thursday) the FBI raided the office of the DC's chief technology officer. Last week, the head of that office was named by Obama to be his administration's chief information officer.

    Now here is where you have to use deductive reasoning:

    The FBI did not uncover in 1 week enough evidence to raid the office. The corruption they are investigating happed prior to Kundra leaving to work for Obama which means it most likely happened on his watch since he has been the head of that agency since 2007. More information is needed to know what the corruption was and how high it went, but it sure doesn't look good since he is supposed to deliver transparency and accountability at his new job ... and it looks like he did NOT do that at his old job.

    March 12, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. George

    Trouble in paradise.

    March 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. I voted for change!!!!!

    This report just gives the bashers more to talk about. Keep on bringing it, haters!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. stillsupportspresident

    I understand that people think billions of dollars for war and torture is equal of a mistake as picking cabinet members who have errors in their past...I get that. What I don't get is that people seem to think that ongoing investigations or things the person may have done which has no arrest or conviction or trail of paper at the time would be in background checks, no matter how thorough. Part of the vetting process brings mistakes people have made to light...it is not like the errors existed and Obama didn't care and picked them anyway.

    “It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men.” ~ Thucydides

    To "still hoping" who made a comment that everyone must have something bad in their background, it is not "everyone"; even if his staff has 400 members, that is not even a single percent of the population. HOWEVER, you would be surprised how many people have even felonies on their record, and they don't always look like the people that the media likes to show to give a tunnel vision view of what crime looks like.

    March 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. teutonicus

    calm down people: the investigation concerns bribery possibly committed LAST year under the Bush administration. Sorry to spoil your hatred, right wingers

    March 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. P.J.

    Wow, so glad to see all these liberals labeling people with opposing view points as ignorant and undereducated. Way to NOT perpetuate the stereotype of the elitist liberal snob. One thing people need to keep in mind, while the Electoral College may have indicated a landslide in the election; the popular vote showed that McCain was able to get 46% of the vote. This was during a time when the incumbent president was hugely unpopular, and the economy was in a free fall that was entirely blamed on policies put forward by this president (which is not 100% accurate). Despite this, he still got 46% of the vote. The Republican Party is far from dead. Now, to get back to this story, of course this is relevant. He may be the former head of the office, but that was what, 2 weeks ago?

    March 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    2 + 2 =

    I'll bet $787B that these two morons who were arrested had decided to try to obtain and sell information on Kudra once he was nominated. I wonder who might want to buy something like that...any ideas who might shell out cash for a tasty tidbit or two...waddya think GOPers? how about you mainstream media?

    March 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Cesar Chavez

    Ex republican ?? Give me a break...you were never a republican. I'm a true Ex republican. But, I didn't all of sudden turn liberal. I am a conservative. Go ahead and follow the party of criminals, misfits, racist American Hating socialist. Just admit who you are...

    March 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Simmy

    As the plots thicken, all of the anti-Obama skeletons are coming out of their closets, under the guise of investigations. No investigation should take a year.

    March 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Jeff of Peoria

    This is AMAZING. This is Richard Nixon Spiro Agnew all over again. A lot of Bush's picks might have been INEPT but they weren't being investigated by the FB frikking I !!!

    March 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. AndyL

    C W

    We believe Nancy Pelosi is the real president, just like you believe Rush Limbaugh is the head of the Republican party

    March 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. marquis

    Ex-Republican how do you know Kundra was not assisting the FBI in their investigation?

    March 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. David in Dallas

    The allegations have to do with accepting bribes.

    To those who say this proves Obama's dirty....

    Are you REALLY making the argument that Obama knew that Kundra's assistants took bribes before the FBI did, and he felt that was a good qualification for hiring Kundra?

    Do you really think that? Cuz that's what you're saying....

    March 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Matt

    CHief technology Officer? They must be looking for Secretary Geinthner's turbo tax returns

    March 12, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. Mike

    I guess nobody has really read the story here or elsewhere. The office was searched as part of an ongoing investigation into 2 people who worked under the person Obama just picked at CIO. True this person just left his position there to join the administration, but the alleged corruption of these 2 employees happened under his watch.

    The significance is that he is supposed to join Obama to be the chief of watching over technology and information for the white house... but had no clue things were happening under his nose while at his old job.

    March 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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