WASHINGTON – Earlier today in the District of Columbia, Haitham Isa Saado Sad, 42, pleaded guilty to several charges related to his role in a scheme to steal U.S. government records and defraud U.S. refugee programs. Defendant Sad remains held without bond pending sentencing.
The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin for the District of Columbia, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Dr. Joseph V. Cuffari, and U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Assistant Director for Domestic Operations Ricardo Colón.
Sad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal records and defraud the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and computer fraud and abuse before U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras of the District of Columbia. Sad is one of three defendants charged in an indictment that was unsealed on Friday, January 22. The indictment charges Sad and two other foreign nationals, Aws Muwafaq Abduljabbar, 42, and Olesya Leonidovna Krasilova, 43, with conspiracy to steal U.S. government records and to defraud the United States, theft of U.S. government records, and conspiracy to launder money, all related to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) and, in particular, the Iraq P-2 program, which allows certain Iraqis to apply directly for refugee resettlement in the United States. The indictment also charges Krasilova and Sad with computer fraud and abuse. Abduljabbar was previously arrested and remains held without bond. Krasilova remains at large.
According to the indictment and the statement of facts agreed to by Sad as part of his guilty plea, Sad was employed in Amman, Jordan from 2007 to 2016 by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Krasilova held a similar position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. As part of their duties, both defendants had access to the State Department’s Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS), a database containing sensitive, non-public information about refugee applicants and their family members, as well as the results of security checks and internal assessments by U.S. officials regarding applications. From approximately February 2016 until at least April 2019, the three defendants, led by Abduljabbar, conspired to steal U.S. government records related to hundreds of USRAP applications. Abduljabbar organized and led the conspiracy, and he relied on and paid Sad and Krasilova to steal WRAPS records and information so that Abduljabbar could assist applicants in gaining admission to the United States through fraudulent means. As outlined in the indictment and statement of facts, the theft of USRAP records creates a number of risks to public safety and national security while imposing significant costs on the U.S. government, its taxpayers, and otherwise legitimate refugee applicants negatively impacted by the scheme.
The charges in an indictment are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit an offense or defraud the United States is five years; the maximum penalty for theft of government records is 10 years; the maximum penalty for conspiracy to launder money is 20 years; and the maximum penalty for the charged computer fraud and abuse is five years. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case is being investigated jointly by the DHS Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke M. Jones and Erik M. Kenerson of the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs assisted.