Massachusetts Man Arrested for Obstructing Investigation into Mishandling of National Defense Information
BOSTON – A Sharon, Mass., man was arrested today and charged with trying to obstruct an investigation involving time-card fraud and the potential mishandling of classified information.
Ahmedelhadi Yassin Serageldin, 65, an Egyptian-born nationalized U.S. citizen, was arrested this morning and charged with one count of misleading conduct with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent communications to a law enforcement officer relating to the commission or possible commission of a federal offense. Serageldin was detained following an initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Boston. A detention hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.
The indictment alleges that Serageldin was a systems engineer at Raytheon Company in Massachusetts from August 1997 until he was terminated in May 2017. Serageldin had a secret-level security clearance in order to complete his assignments on several defense contracts for the U.S. government involving military radar technology.
According to court documents, in 2017, Raytheon investigated Serageldin for time-card fraud, as he was suspected of taking off every Friday from January to the end of March 2017, yet claiming on his time card that he worked on those dates. By doing so, Serageldin caused Raytheon to overcharge the federal government on the contracts he was assigned to.
The time-card fraud investigation allegedly led Raytheon to uncover evidence that Serageldin had downloaded a substantial number of files from Raytheon’s computer network and had connected removable electronic storage devices to the network in violation of Raytheon’s security policy. During the company’s internal investigation, the indictment alleges that Serageldin engaged in misleading conduct to hinder, delay, or prevent Raytheon employees from communicating with law enforcement about his time-card fraud and his potential mishandling and retention of classified information and national defense information. The indictment alleges that Serageldin did this by:
- Claiming that he was working on company business at home and that he was authorized to do so;
- Misrepresenting why and when he had downloaded files from Raytheon’s network;
- Falsely denying that he possessed an external hard drive or thumb drive and then later, making fraudulent and misleading statements about how he had used an external hard drive (a Western Digital external hard drive);
- Falsely denying that he possessed any Raytheon records or classified documents at his residence;
- Delaying the production of his Western Digital external hard drive and a personal laptop computer to Raytheon investigators, which both contained information pertaining to his work at Raytheon on U.S. military programs;
- Accessing the files on, and changing the content of, his Maxell thumb drive despite having been instructed not to do so; and
- Delaying delivery of his personal laptop computer to Raytheon so he could conduct research on how to wipe his personal laptop clean.
The charge of misleading conduct with intent to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer relating to the commission and possible commission of a federal offense provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greatest, restitution, and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Leo Lamont, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistance with the investigation was provided by Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston. Raytheon Company has cooperated with the investigation, which was launched after they notified federal authorities about the suspicious conduct. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s National Security Unit, is prosecuting this case with assistance of Trial Attorney Scott Claffee of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.