Former DHS acting IG pleads guilty to charges in software theft case
A former acting inspector general has pleaded guilty to charges brought by the Department of Justice over the theft of software and databases from two government agencies.
Charles K. Edwards admitted Friday to conspiring to commit theft of government property and theft of government property. He entered guilty pleas at the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia and will be sentenced at a later date.
A second defendant, Murali Y. Venkata has pleaded not guilty, and his case remains pending.
According to court documents, Edwards stole confidential and proprietary software and data from the government and used it to create a commercially-owned version of a case management system for his business, Delta Business Solutions Inc. The stolen data contained the personally identifiable information of federal employees, the documents say.
Edwards worked for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) between February 2008 and December 2013, including as acting inspector general. Prior to this, he also worked at the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.
“After leaving DHS OIG, Edwards founded Delta Business Solutions Inc., located in Maryland. From at least 2015 until 2017, he stole software from DHS-OIG, along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying information of DHS and USPS employees, so that his company could develop a commercially-owned version of a case management system to be offered for sale to government agencies,” the Department of Justice said in a statement announcing the guilty plea.
The case is being prosecuted by senior litigation counsel of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, Victor Salgado, and also the public corruption and civil rights section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.