Aldie Man Convicted of Stealing Federal Software, Databases

An Aldie man was convicted by a federal jury Monday on multiple federal charges stemming from the theft of proprietary software and sensitive databases from the U.S. government.

Murali Y. Venkata, 56, was the former acting branch chief of the Information Technology Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was convicted for his role in a conspiracy that included exfiltrating proprietary source code and sensitive databases and helping to set up computer servers so that software developers in India could access the information remotely and develop the commercial version of the case management system.

Two co-conspirators—Charles K. Edwards, who previously served as the acting inspector general of DHS-OIG, and Sonal Patel, another official at DHS-OIG—previously pleaded guilty to stealing property from the U.S. government for the purpose of developing a commercial version of a case management system to be offered for sale to government agencies.

Prosecutors said the men stole confidential and proprietary software from the government along with the personally identifying information of hundreds of thousands of federal employees. 

Venkata worked for DHS-OIG from June 2010 until he was placed on administrative leave in October 2017 following the charges in this case. Before he joined DHS-OIG, Venkata worked at the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General. At both agencies, Venkata had access to software systems, including one used for case management and other systems holding personally identifying information of federal employees, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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