Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Retaining Classified National Defense Information Regarding U.S. Military Programs
BOSTON – A Sharon man pleaded guilty today to illegally retaining national defense information.
Ahmedelhadi Yassin Serageldin, 66, an Egyptian-born nationalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty today to one count of willfully retaining national defense information. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for April 24, 2020. Serageldin was initially indicted in November 2018 on 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 admitted to having unauthorized possession of numerous classified documents, writings, and notes relating to the national defense,. During the execution of a search warrant at Serageldin’s house, agents found thousands of paper documents and electronic files belonging to Raytheon or the Department of Defense, and that many of them were marked as containing classified information. Court documents list five specific documents, all of which pertain to U.S. military programs involving missile defense and are classified at the SECRET level.
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.
In 2017, Raytheon investigated Serageldin for time-card fraud. The time-card fraud investigation led Raytheon to uncover evidence that Serageldin had downloaded a substantial number of files from Raytheon’s computer network and had connected his personal removable electronic storage devices to the network in violation of Raytheon’s security policy. During the company’s internal investigation 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 and national defense information.
The charge of willfully retaining documents relating to the national defense and failing to deliver them to the United States provides for a sentence of up to 10 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. According to a plea agreement filed in the case, the original charge of obstruction of justice will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. 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; Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers; Joseph Bonavolonta, 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 the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the 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 and Trial Attorney Scott Claffee of the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case.