Former U.S. Consulate Guard Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Communicate National Defense Information to China

August 31, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 30, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Bryan Underwood, a former civilian guard at a U.S. Consulate compound under construction in China, pleaded guilty today in the District of Columbia in connection with his efforts to sell for personal financial gain classified photographs, information, and access related to the U.S. Consulate to China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).

At a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, Underwood pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government with intent or reason to believe that the documents, photographs, or information in question were to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.

The guilty plea was announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.

Underwood, 32, a former resident of Indiana, was first charged in an indictment on August 31, 2011, with two counts of making false statements and was arrested on September 1, 2011. On September 21, 2011, he failed to appear at a scheduled status hearing in federal court in the District of Columbia. The FBI later located Underwood in a hotel in Los Angeles and arrested him there on September 24, 2011. On September 28, 2011, Underwood was charged in a superseding indictment with one count of attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government, two counts of making false statements, and one count of failing to appear in court pursuant to his conditions of release. Sentencing for Underwood has been scheduled for November 19, 2012. He faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.

“Bryan Underwood was charged with protecting a new U.S. Consulate compound against foreign espionage, but, facing financial hardship, he attempted to betray his country for personal gain,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco. “This prosecution demonstrates that we remain vigilant in protecting America’s secrets and in bringing to justice those who attempt to compromise them.”

“Bryan Underwood was determined to make millions by selling secret photos of restricted areas inside a U.S. Consulate in China,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “His greed drove him to exploit his access to America’s secrets to line his own pockets. The lengthy prison sentence facing Underwood should chasten anyone who is tempted to put our nation at risk for personal gain.”

“Bryan Underwood sought to benefit from his access to sensitive information, but his attempted betrayal was detected before our nation’s secrets fell into the wrong hands,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Together with our partners, the FBI will continue to work to expose, investigate, and prevent acts of espionage that threaten our national security.”

“The close working relationship between the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office resulted in the capture and conviction of Bryan Underwood before he could harm the security of our country,” said Assistant Secretary of State Boswell. “The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to thoroughly investigating all potential intelligence threats to our nation.”

According to court documents, from November 2009 to August 2011, Underwood worked as a cleared American guard (CAG) at the construction site of a new U.S. Consulate compound in Guangzhou, China. CAGs are American civilian security guards with top secret clearances who serve to prevent foreign governments from improperly obtaining sensitive or classified information from the U.S. Consulate. Underwood received briefings on how to handle and protect classified information as well as briefings and instructions on security protocols for the U.S. Consulate, including the prohibition on photography in certain areas of the consulate.

Plan to Sell Information and Access for $3 Million to $5 Million

In February 2011, Underwood was asked by U.S. law enforcement to assist in a project at the consulate, and he agreed. In March 2011, Underwood lost a substantial amount of money in the stock market. According to court documents, Underwood then devised a plan to use his assistance to U.S. law enforcement as a “cover” for making contact with the Chinese government. According to his subsequent statements to U.S. law enforcement, Underwood intended to sell his information about and access to the U.S. Consulate to the Chinese MSS for $3 million to $5 million. If any U.S. personnel caught him, he planned to falsely claim he was assisting U.S. law enforcement.

As part of his plan, Underwood wrote a letter to the Chinese MSS expressing his “interest in initiating a business arrangement with your offices” and stating, “I know I have information and skills that would be beneficial to your offices [sic] goals. And I know your office can assist me in my financial endeavors.” According to court documents, Underwood attempted to deliver this letter to the offices of the Chinese MSS in Guangzhou but was turned away by a guard who declined to accept the letter. Underwood then left the letter in the open in his apartment hoping that the Chinese MSS would find it, as he believed the MSS routinely conducted searches of apartments occupied by Americans.

In May 2011, Underwood secreted a camera into the U.S. Consulate compound and took photographs of a restricted building and its contents. Many of these photographs depict areas or information classified at the secret level. Underwood also created a schematic that listed all security upgrades to the U.S. Consulate and drew a diagram of the surveillance camera locations at the consulate. In addition, according to his subsequent statements to U.S. law enforcement, Underwood “mentally” constructed a plan in which the MSS could gain undetected access to a building at the U.S. Consulate to install listening devices or other technical penetrations.

According to court documents, the photographs Underwood took were reviewed by an expert at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security who had original classification authority for facilities, security, and countermeasures at the U.S. Consulate. The expert determined that many of the photographs contained images classified at the secret level and that disclosure of such material could cause serious damage to the United States.

In early August 2011, Underwood was interviewed several times by FBI and Diplomatic Security agents, during which he admitted making efforts to contact the Chinese MSS, but falsely claimed that he took these actions to assist U.S. law enforcement. On August 19, 2011, Underwood was again interviewed by law enforcement agents, and he admitted that he planned to sell photos, information, and access to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to the Chinese MSS for his personal financial gain.

The U.S. government has found no evidence that Underwood succeeded in passing classified information concerning the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou to anyone at the Chinese MSS.

This investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Brandon L. Van Grack from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


ICEgate? High ranking intel officials linked to Palestinian money laundering

May 15, 2012

Examiner.com on May 7, 2012 released the following:

By Jim Kouri

“What at first appeared to be government officials involved in embezzlement to the tune of more than a half-billion dollars now appears to be also connected to a Palestinian money-laundering operation, according to several Law Enforcement Examiner sources.

A top U.S. intelligence chief pleaded guilty last week as a result of a far-reaching federal fraud investigation that nabbed a total of five members of the Department of Homeland Security and may be connected to funnel money to a Palestinian ring, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the Law Enforcement Examiner.

James M. Woosley, the acting director of intelligence for DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pleaded guilty to defrauding the government of more than $180,000 in a scheme involving fraudulent travel vouchers, and time and attendance claims, according to court documents.

The 48-year old former resident of Tucson, Arizona, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to a charge of conversion of government money, according to the Department of Justice.

Four other suspects pleaded guilty to charges related to the Woosley case: Ahmed Adil Abdallat, 64, an ICE supervisory intelligence research specialist, pleaded guilty in October 2011; William J. Korn, 53, an ICE intelligence research specialist, pleaded guilty in December 2011; Stephen E. Henderson, 61, a former contractor doing work for ICE, pleaded guilty in January 2012; and Lateisha M. Rollerson, 38, an assistant to Woosley, pleaded guilty in March 2012. Abdallat pleaded guilty in the Western District of Texas, and the others pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia.

Between February 2009 and September 2010, ICE Supervisory Intelligence Research Specialist Ahmed Adil Abdallat also traveled from El Paso, Texas to Washington, D.C. more than ten times, according to records submitted to DHS. Abdallat did so at the recommendation of the ICE Supervisor, and Abdallat submitted fraudulent travel vouchers for expenses that he did not incur, so that he could kick back money to the ICE Supervisor, according to former U.S. Congressman Tom Trancredo, who remains active in monitoring U.S. immigration policy and agencies in the United States.

As a result of the fraudulent travel vouchers, ICE reimbursed Abdallat a total of approximately $116,392.84. Abdallat kept some of the money, but kicked back approximately $58,550 to the ICE Supervisor, Rollerson and another individual, according to court records.

Ahmed Adil Abdallat was sentenced to a mere 12 months in prison for illegal use of a diplomatic passport and submitting fake travel receipts to ICE. According to federal sentencing guidelines, he should have received up to 10 years in federal prison for his unlawful use of a diplomatic passport.

All told, the actions of the various defendants cost taxpayers upwards of $600,000.

“[On May 2] James Woosley became the fifth – and highest-ranking – individual to plead guilty as part of a series of fraud schemes among rogue employees and contractors at ICE,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., District of Columbia.

“He abused his sensitive position of trust to fleece the government by submitting phony paperwork for and taking kickbacks from subordinates who were also on the take. This ongoing investigation demonstrates our dedication to protecting the taxpayer from corrupt government employees and contractors,” Machen added.

According to the government’s evidence, with which Woosley agreed, between May 2008 and January 2011, Woosley participated in fraudulent activity involving travel vouchers, and time and attendance claims. In addition, from June 2008 until February 2011, Woosley was aware of or willfully overlooked fraudulent activity of ICE employees or contract employees under his supervision, such as Palestinian Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a supervisory intelligence specialist.

The other employees included Rollerson, who he met in or about 2007, while he was deputy director for ICE’s Office of Intelligence. Woosley and Rollerson developed a close, personal relationship. In or about May 2008, Rollerson was hired as an intelligence reports writer for a company that did contract work for ICE. Later that year, she was hired by ICE as an intelligence research specialist.

This placed her first in the chain of command under Woosley, and she later became Woosley’s personal assistant. Rollerson’s official duty station was in Washington, D.C., and she lived in Virginia, with Woosley.

Rollerson helped Woosley and the other participants with the paperwork to support the fraudulent payments they later received.

A Palestinian Connection?

According to investigative journalist and radio commentator Debbie Schlussel, suspect Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a Palestinian, served as an intelligence analyst for ICE. And his boss Woosley, the ICE Intelligence chief, could not say anything about it because he is a co-conspirator with Abdallat in submitting phony expense documents to ICE for reimbursement.

“The money, stolen from American taxpayers who paid it to fund this country’s national security, is probably going to fund Islamic terrorism and is definitely going to a multi-million dollar Palestinian money-laundering ring and its bank accounts in Jordan. The Muslim ICE official [had] a US-government-issued diplomatic passport, which he misuse[d] for eight personal trips to Jordan to see Muslim brothers” wrote Schlussel.

“Homeland Security and the Justice Department are minimizing these parts of the story and are succeeding. But the truth is that this is a major national security breach and a gargantuan example of the failure of political correctness and pan-Muslim affirmative action in federal law enforcement agencies” Schlussel stated.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, appointed to the court in 2011 by President Barack Obama, scheduled sentencing of Woosley for July 13, 2012. Under federal guidelines, Woosley faces a likely sentence of 18 to 27 months in prison as well as a potential fine.

In addition, as part of his plea agreement, he agreed to forfeiture of the money he wrongfully obtained. This case was investigated by the DHS Office of Inspector General, the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

“The fact that the investigation was handled by the Homeland Security Department and its components instead of by the FBI or other federal investigators is highly suspicious to me. These were high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials who were stealing larges sums of money without the slightest hesitation. Could not these same officials compromise national security or worse?” asks former military intelligence officer and police detective Sid Franes.

“Are Americans getting the whole story? Or are we once again facing yet another political agenda?” he asks.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Accused Member of Foreign Terrorist Organization Extradited to United States on Hostage Taking Charges

March 12, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 12, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Alexander Beltran Herrera, 35, aka Jhon Alexander Beltrain Herrera, aka Rodrigo Pirinolo, an accused member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), has been extradited from Colombia to face hostage taking and terrorism charges in the United States.

The extradition was announced by Lisa Monaco, assistant attorney general for national security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia; and Dena Choucair, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami Division.

Beltran Herrera was extradited from Colombia to the United States over the weekend to face charges in an indictment returned in the District of Columbia on February 22, 2011. The indictment, which names as defendants 18 members of the FARC, charges Herrera specifically with one count of conspiracy to commit hostage taking; three counts of hostage taking; one count of using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence; one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; and one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Beltran Herrera is scheduled to be arraigned today at 11:15 a.m. before Judge Royce C. Lamberth in federal court in the District of Columbia. If convicted of all the charges against him, he faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.

According to the indictment, the FARC is an armed, violent organization in Colombia, which, since its inception in 1964, has engaged in an armed conflict to overthrow the Republic of Colombia, South America’s longest-standing democracy. The FARC has consistently used hostage taking as a primary technique in extorting demands from the Republic of Colombia. Hostage taking has been endorsed and commanded by FARC senior leadership. The FARC has characterized American citizens as “military targets” and has engaged in violent acts against Americans in Colombia, including murders and hostage taking. The FARC was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Secretary of State in 1997 and remains so designated.

The indictment alleges that Beltran Herrera was a member of the 27th Front in the FARC’s Southern Block. Beltran Herrera was allegedly involved in the hostage taking of three U.S. citizens, Marc D. Gosalves, Thomas R. Howes, and Keith Stansell. These three individuals, along with Thomas Janis, a U.S. citizen, and Sergeant Luis Alcides Cruz, a Colombian citizen, were seized on February 13, 2003 by the FARC after their single engine aircraft made a crash landing near Florencia, Colombia. Janis and Cruz were murdered at the crash site by members of the FARC.

According to the indictment, Gonsalves, Howes, and Stansell were held by the FARC at gunpoint and were advised by FARC leadership that they would be used as hostages to increase international pressure on the government of the Republic of Colombia to agree to the FARC’s demands.

The FARC at various times marched the hostages from one site to another, placing them in the actual custody of various FARC fronts. At the conclusion of one 40-day march, in or about November 2004, the hostages were delivered to members of the FARC’s 27th Front, commanded by Daniel Tamayo Sanchez, who was responsible for the hostages for nearly two years, after which they were delivered to the FARC’s 1st Front. During part of this two-year period with the 27th Front, Beltran Herrera was responsible for moving the hostages and keeping them imprisoned.

Throughout the captivity of these three hostages, FARC jailors and guards, including Beltran Herrera, used choke harnesses, chains, padlocks, and wires to restrain the hostages, and used force and threats to continue their detention and prevent their escape. The indictment also accuses Beltran Herrera of using and carrying a military-type machine gun during the hostage taking and providing material support and resources to aid in the hostage taking and to aid the FARC.

“Today’s extradition underscores our resolve to hold accountable all those responsible for this crime and we will not rest until every one of them is brought to justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco.

“This extradition is another step toward justice on behalf of Americans taken hostage and held in chains by a Colombian terrorist organization,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We will not hesitate to bring to justice anyone who targets Americans around the world with violence to advance their political agendas.”

“This extradition further disrupts and dismantles the FARC, a foreign terrorist organization that has engaged in violent acts against American and Colombian citizens,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Choucair. “The outstanding, long-term cooperation between the Colombian National Police and U.S. law enforcement has struck another blow to international terrorism.”

This investigation is being led by the FBI’s Miami Field Division. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Asuncion and Fernando Campoamar-Sanchez from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney David Cora from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Substantial assistance in the case was provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the Department’s Judicial Attachés in Colombia, and the FBI’s Legal Attaché in Colombia. The Directorate of Intelligence (DIPOL) and the Anti-Kidnapping Unit (GAULA) of the Colombian National Police also provided substantial assistance.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations and that defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Australian Man and His Firm Indicted in Alleged Plot to Export Restricted Military and Other U.S. Technology to Iran

March 1, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on February 29, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON—An Australian man and his company have been indicted today by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for conspiring to export sensitive military and other technology from the United States to Iran, including components with applications in missiles, drones, torpedoes, and helicopters.

The five-count indictment charges David Levick, 50, an Australian national, and his company, ICM Components Inc., located in Thorleigh, Australia, each with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Arms Export Control Act; as well as four counts of illegally exporting goods to an embargoed nation in violation of IEEPA; and forfeiture of at least $199,227.41.

The indictment was announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; John J. McKenna, Special Agent in Charge of the Commerce Department’s Office of Export Enforcement Boston Field Office; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Kathryn Feeney, Resident Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Resident Agency in New Haven, Connecticut; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston.

Levick, who is the general manager of ICM Components, remains at large and is believed to be in Australia. If convicted, Levick faces a potential maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison for each count of violating IEEPA.

According to the indictment, beginning as early as March 2007 and continuing through around March 15, 2009, Levick and ICM solicited purchase orders from a representative of a trading company in Iran for U.S.-origin aircraft parts and other goods. This person in Iran, referenced in the charges as “Iranian A,” also operated and controlled companies in Malaysia that acted as intermediaries for the Iranian trading company.

The indictment alleges that Levick and ICM then placed orders with U.S. companies on behalf of Iranian A for aircraft parts and other goods that Iranian A could not have directly purchased from the United States without U.S. government permission. Among the items the defendants allegedly sought to procure from the United States are the following:

  • VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes. These are aerospace products used to measure precisely and/or maintain control of pitch and roll in applications such as helicopter flight systems, target drones, missiles, torpedoes, and remotely piloted vehicles. They are classified as defense articles by the U.S. government and may not be exported from the United States without a license from the State Department or exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • K2000 Series Servo Actuators designed for use on aircraft. The standard Servo Actuator is designed to be used for throttle, nose wheel steering, and most flight control surfaces. High-torque Servo Actuators are designed to be used for providing higher torque levels for applications such as flaps and landing gear retraction. These items are classified as defense articles by the U.S. government and may not be exported from the United States without a license from the State Department or exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Precision Pressure Transducers. These are sensor devices that have a wide variety of applications in the avionics industry, among others, and can be used for altitude measurements, laboratory testing, measuring instrumentations, and recording barometric pressure. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Emergency Floatation System Kits. These kits contained landing gear, float bags, composite cylinder, and a complete electrical installation kit. Such float kits were designed for use on Bell 206 helicopters to assist the helicopter when landing in either water or soft desert terrain. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.
  • Shock Mounted Light Assemblies. These items are packages of lights and mounting equipment designed for high vibration use and which can be used on helicopters and other fixed wing aircraft. These items may not be exported to Iran without a license from the Treasury Department.

According to the charges, Levick and ICM, when necessary, used a broker in Florida to place orders for these goods with U.S. firms to conceal that they were intended for transshipment to Iran. The defendants also concealed the final end-use and end-users of the goods from manufacturers, distributors, shippers, and freight forwarders in the United States and elsewhere, as well as from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To further conceal their efforts, the defendants structured payments between each other for the goods to avoid restrictions on Iranian financial institutions by other countries.

The indictment further alleges that Levick and ICM wired money to companies located in the United States as payment for these restricted goods. Levick, ICM, and other members of the conspiracy never obtained the required licenses from the Treasury or State Department for the export of any of these goods to Iran, according to the charges.

In addition to the conspiracy allegations, the indictment charges the defendants with exporting or attempting to export four specific shipments of goods from the United States to Iran in violation of IEEPA. These include a shipment of 10 shock mounted light assemblies on Jan. 27, 2007; a shipment of five precision pressure transducers on Dec. 20, 2007; a shipment of 10 shock mounted light assemblies on March 17, 2008; and a shipment of one emergency floatation system kit on June 24, 2008.

This investigation was jointly conducted by agents of the Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement, FBI, DCIS and ICE-HSI. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John W. Borchert and Ann Petalas of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia; and Trial Attorney Jonathan C. Poling of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Former Guard Charged with Allegedly Attempting to Communicate National Defense Information to People’s Republic of China

September 29, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 28, 2011 released the following:

“WASHINGTON— Bryan Underwood, a former contract guard working at a U.S. Consulate in China, has been charged in a superseding indictment with one count of attempting to communicate national defense information to a foreign government, two counts of making false statements, and one count of failing to appear in court pursuant to his conditions of release.

The superseding indictment, which was returned today by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia, was announced by Lisa Monaco, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Underwood, 31, was first charged in an indictment on Aug. 31, 2011, with two counts of making false statements and was arrested on Sept. 1, 2011. On Sept. 21, 2011, Underwood was scheduled to appear at a status hearing in federal court in the District of Columbia, but failed to do so. The FBI located Underwood in Los Angeles and arrested him there in the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2011. Underwood will be brought back to the District of Columbia for arraignment on the superseding indictment. If convicted of the charges against him in the superseding indictment, Underwood faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.

According to the superseding indictment, from about March 1, 2011, to about Aug. 5, 2011, Underwood knowingly and unlawfully attempted to communicate photographs and other information relating to the national defense to representatives of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), with the intent and reason to believe that these materials would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of a foreign nation.

The indictment further alleges that on Aug. 5, 2011, Underwood made a false statement when he stated to an FBI representative that he was intending to assist the FBI when he wrote a letter stating his “interest in initiating a business arrangement” with the PRC. Underwood also made a false statement, according to the indictment, when he stated to an FBI representative that he was intending to assist the FBI when he took certain photographs of his place of work. Finally, the indictment alleges that Underwood failed to appear in court on Sept. 21, 2011 in accordance with the conditions of his release, after his initial arrest on Aug. 31, 2011.

“As this case demonstrates, we remain vigilant in protecting America’s secrets and in bringing to justice those who attempt to compromise them,” said Assistant Attorney General Monaco.

“Our national security depends upon our ability to keep our most sensitive information confidential. Bryan Underwood is charged with trying to pass American secrets to China and then lying to cover up his betrayal,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “I want to congratulate the FBI for so quickly tracking down this defendant in California so that he could be brought back to the District of Columbia to face these charges.”

“The FBI is committed to working with our partners in the U.S. Government to prevent the compromise of U.S. national security information by those who would attempt to sell it for personal gain,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Those who seek to flee from justice should know that the FBI will locate and apprehend them.”

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Ryan Fayhee from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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