Thursday, December 15, 2005

Former Labor Department Official Pleads Guilty to Stealing Government Laptop Computers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A former
Supervisory Program Manager for the Employment and
Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department
of Labor has pleaded guilty to the theft of government
laptop computers, Assistant Attorney General Alice S.
Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.

Basit Chaudhary pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal
information this morning at U.S. District Court in the
District of Columbia. The information, filed on Nov.
2, 2005, charged Chaudhary with felony theft of
government property for stealing and converting to his
own use a total of 12 laptop computers belonging to
ETA. The computers were valued at approximately

At the time of his thefts, the defendant's official
responsibilities included supervising the purchase and
evaluation of computers and other information
technology goods and services for ETA and ensuring
that ETA's purchases and expenditures were used only
for official purposes.

As part of his plea agreement, Chaudhary admitted that
he stole a total of 12 laptop computers from ETA
during 2003 and that he sold six of these computers to
private parties. The defendant further admitted that
he subsequently purchased six laptop computers using
his personal credit card and had them shipped to ETA,
and that he then called one his ETA subordinates and
told him that these six laptop computers were the same
laptop computers that the defendant had removed from
ETA previously. As part of his plea, the defendant has
agreed to provide restitution to ETA for the remaining
six laptops.

The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector
General of the Department of Labor. The case is being
handled by Nancy L. Simmons of the Public Integrity
Section of the Department of Justice, headed by
Section Chief Noel L. Hillman.


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