Fourth Person Charged in D.C. Tech Office Scandal
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
A former employee of a District-based contracting firm has become the fourth person charged in a bribery and kickback scandal that exposed lax oversight of the D.C. government's technology office.
Sarosh Mir, 44, of Herndon was charged last week in the District's federal court with conspiring to commit wire fraud. The charges came in a "criminal information," a document that signals that a plea deal is near. It can only be filed with a defendant's consent.
Mir, who could not be reached for comment, worked for Sushil Bansal, owner of Advanced Integrated Technologies, a consulting firm that did millions of dollars in business with the D.C. government. Bansal controlled another firm, Innovative IT Solutions, which also had D.C. government contracts, prosecutors said.
In court papers, prosecutors said Mir, Bansal and others enriched themselves by lying on time sheets and invoices for D.C. government contracting work. They also obtained contracts for "ghost employees" who did no work, prosecutors said.
The scheme cost the D.C. government at least $500,000, prosecutors have said.
Bansal, 42, was charged in March with conspiring to commit bribery of a public official. He was released after his arrest.
Two D.C. government employees were also accused of participating in the scam.
Yusuf Acar, 40, a former D.C. manager in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, was charged in March with wire fraud and conspiring to commit bribery and to launder money.
Prosecutors said Acar used his position as the District's acting chief technology security officer to steer contracts to Bansal's firms for bribes. He also received kickbacks for hiring the ghost employees, prosecutors have said.
Acar is being held at the D.C. jail. His attorney and a federal prosecutor have indicated that they are working on a plea deal.
Another former D.C. employee, Farrukh Awan, 37, has been charged with conspiring to commit bribery and launder money.
Staff writer Nikita Stewart and staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.