Former Correctional Officer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Smuggling Controlled Substances Into The Prince George’s County Department of Corrections Detention Facility
Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Satbir Thukral, age 61, of Germantown, Maryland, for interference with commerce by extortion, and attempted witness tampering.
The defendant had an initial appearance on September 29, 2023, in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ajmel A. Quereshi.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Washington Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
“A top criminal priority for the FBI is to investigate public corruption perpetrated against the government and American taxpayers,” said Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “Today’s indictment is an example of an important partnership with TIGTA and the work we do every day towards our common goal. The FBI will not relent in our mission to root out corruption and fraud within the government, and to hold those accountable who put greed above their trusted positions.”
TIGTA Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay said, “Internal Revenue Service employees are placed in a position of trust, and when an employee tries to sell that trust for personal gain, the faith of the American taxpayer falters. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration takes allegations of public corruption very seriously and will ensure that any employees involved in such acts are held accountable. I want to thank our law enforcement partners at the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice Fraud Section for their efforts.”
According to the indictment, Thukral was employed as an information technology manager for the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), assigned to an office in Lanham, Maryland. He had a supervisory role in connection with contracts between the IRS and various businesses. Victim 1 was the President of Business 1, which was a professional services firm based outside of Maryland, that conducted business in Maryland. Businesses 2 and 3 had prime contracts with the IRS for the performance of IT services. At various times from approximately September 2018 through February 2021, Business 1 subcontracted with Businesses 2 and 3 to assist in executing the contracts with the IRS.
According to the indictment, in March 2018, Victim 1 provided their resume to Thukral who passed Victim 1’s resume within the IRS, to Business 2, and elsewhere for purposes of facilitating the hiring of Business 1 as a subcontractor on a prime contract with the IRS. The indictment alleges that, beginning in September 2018, Business 1 was hired as a subcontractor by Business 2 to perform services in support of Business 2’s contract with the IRS; at a later point, Business 1 was hired to assist Business 3. Beginning in October 2018, Thukral allegedly demanded that Victim 1 pay him a portion of the earnings on Business 1’s subcontracts, claiming that Thukral enabled Business 1’s employment and telling Victim 1 that there would be consequences if Victim 1 did not pay. From approximately October 2018 through December 2020, Victim 1 allegedly provided such payments to Thukral, totaling at least approximately $120,000. The indictment alleges that Victim 1 made these payments out of fear that Thukral would cause Victim 1 economic and reputational harm if Victim 1 did not pay.
Further, the indictment alleges that, in February 2023, Victim 1 informed Thukral that they had been approached by federal investigators inquiring about cash withdrawals that Victim 1 made from their bank accounts. Thukral allegedly attempted to persuade Victim 1 to deceive the federal investigators about the reason for Victim’s 1 cash withdrawals and about the extortion scheme.
If convicted, Thukral faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment on each count in the indictment. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Members of the public who suspect misconduct such as that described above, or believe they have been the victim of such misconduct, should contact the TIGTA telephone line at 800-366-4484 or visit https://www.tigta.gov/reportcrime-misconduct.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron and Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri commended the FBI and TIGTA for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron and Ms. Argentieri thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Wright and Christopher Sarma and Trial Attorney Matt Kahn from the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, who are prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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