Former D.C. tech workers sentenced

Two former employees of the District of Columbia's Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) were sentenced to prison on Friday for their roles in a bribery and kickback scheme that began in 2005 and continued until their arrests in March of last year.

Yusuf Acar, former acting chief security officer in the D.C. CTO, was sentenced to 27 months in prison in U.S. District Court for D.C. on Friday. Farrukh Awan, a former contract employee, was sentenced to 14 months. The two previously pleaded guilty, admitting to steering projects to local IT contractor Advanced Integrated Technologies and accepting hundreds of thousands in bribes from CEO Sushil Bansal.

Acar admitted to accepting $559,000 in bribes from Bansal, who also pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Aug. 6 to 20 months in prison. Acar, who has been held in prison without bond since his arrest in March of 2009, was ordered to pay more than a half million dollars in restitution to the District of Columbia. Awan was ordered to pay $157,000 in restitution, while Bansal and his company must pay $845,000.

ADVERTISEMENT

The case attracted headlines last March when the FBI raided the OCTO one week after the previous chief technology officer, Vivek Kundra, was named federal chief information officer by President Obama. The White House responded by placing Kundra on leave, only reinstating him after former Virginia Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina Senate confirms Trump's nominee to lead FDA Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism MORE weighed in on his behalf.

Kundra served as CTO from March 2007 to March 2009 but was not a target of the investigation, though his office did award some contracts to Bansal's company under his watch. During a November 2008 interview Kundra claimed his use of dashboard applications had brought an unprecedented level of transparency to the District's IT procurements.

"It's about holding people accountable," he said at the time. Kundra has brought the same emphasis on dashboards and contractor accountability to his position as federal chief information officer.

Acar was reportedly elevated during Kundra's tenure and given a say on hiring decisions, which he used to benefit former employees of Advanced Integrated Technologies in return for kickbacks from Bansal. Five people in total, including three former D.C. government employees, have been charged in the scheme.