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Washington D.C.
Sunday, December 4, 2022

Former USCIS, U.S. Embassy Employees Charged with Stealing Refugee Applicant Info

An indictment charging three defendants was unsealed in the District of Columbia today.  The indictment charges Aws Muwafaq Abduljabbar, 42; Haitham Isa Saado Sad, 42; and Olesya Leonidovna Krasilova, 43, with conspiracy to steal U.S. government records and to defraud the United States, theft of U.S. government records, and conspiracy to launder money, all related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  The indictment also charges Sad and Krasilova with computer fraud and abuse.  The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael R. Sherwin, the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón.

According to the indictment, Sad was employed in Amman, Jordan from 2007 to 2016 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Krasilova held a similar position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia.  Part of their duties included processing applications for refugee resettlement in the United States through the USRAP.  The indictment charges that, from approximately February 2016 until at least April 2019, the three defendants, led by Abduljabbar, conspired to steal U.S. government records related to hundreds of USRAP applications.  The records contained sensitive, non-public information about refugee applicants, their family members, their employment and military history, their accounts of persecution or fear of persecution, the results of security checks, and internal assessments by U.S. officials regarding applications.

As outlined in the indictment, the theft of USRAP records creates a number of risks to public safety and national security while imposing significant costs on the U.S. government, its taxpayers, and otherwise legitimate refugee applicants negatively impacted by the scheme.  Defendants Abduljabbar and Sad were previously arrested and remain held without bond.  Defendant Krasilova remains at large.

“The charges unsealed today demonstrate the commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of critical government functions like the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which exists to identify and admit qualified refugees for resettlement in the United States,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia.  “It is important to hold accountable those who would seek to defraud such programs, particularly when the crimes compromise our national security and public safety, when they impose such high costs on taxpayers, and when they negatively impact the prospects of qualified refugee applicants.”

“This indictment sends a strong message: the Diplomatic Security Service is committed to making sure that those who are alleged to have stolen U.S. government records related to refugee admissions face consequences for their criminal actions,” said DSS Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón. “This case demonstrates the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners, and showcases the forensic and investigative capabilities of DSS.”

“Individuals like Ms. Krasilova and Mr. Sad are entrusted to protect the integrity of the U.S. immigration system and sensitive information vital to our national security interests,” said Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari.  “The Office of Inspector General remains committed to aggressively investigating DHS employees who abuse their positions, betray the public trust, and conspire with persons such as Mr. Abduljabbar to defraud the United States.”

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States is five years; the maximum penalty for theft of government records is 10 years; the maximum penalty for conspiracy to launder money is 20 years; and the maximum penalty for the charged computer fraud and abuse is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case is being investigated jointly by the DHS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke M. Jones and Erik M. Kenerson of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted.

Read more at DHS OIG

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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