A former acting Inspector General for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was indicted on Friday for allegedly ripping off proprietary software and confidential databases and packaging it all up so that his company – Delta Business Solutions – could sell an enhanced version back to the government at a profit.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned a 16-count indictment against Charles K. Edwards, 59, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, and one of his underlings, Murali Yamazula Venkata, 54, of Aldie, Virginia, the Justice Department (DOJ) said.
They’re both looking at charges of conspiracy to commit theft of government property and to defraud the government, theft of government property, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Venkata is also charged with destroying records.
They were working the scheme for a number of years, according to the indictment. It alleges that Edwards had a network of insiders working on stealing data from the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) from October 2014 to April 2017.
According to court documents, the stolen data included sensitive government databases that contained personal identifying information (PII) of DHS and Postal Service (USPS) employees. The plan was to sell the enhanced, so-not-free-anymore version of DHS-OIG’s software to the OIG for the Department of Agriculture. Prosecutors also allege that Edwards kept it all up even after he left DHS-OIG in December 2013, maintaining his relationship with Venkata and other DHS-OIG employees to keep the intellectual property (IP) and PII flowing.