Washington IT bribery suspect to stay in jail

Yusuf Acar, who has been working as acting chief security officer in the District of Columbia's IT department, was refused bail following his arrest on bribery charges last week.

The judge ordered Acar to remain in custody, saying that the evidence underpinning the bribery charge is "overwhelming" and siding with federal prosecutors who contended that Acar might try to flee the country if he's released on bail.

The bribery case has a political side that reaches into the White House as a result of President Barack Obama's appointment, just two weeks ago, of Vivek Kundra to be the federal government's first official CIO. Until then, Kundra was the District's chief technology officer and Acar's boss.

However, there are no indications from court documents that Kundra had any knowledge of the alleged illegal activities that led to the arrests of Acar and the CEO of an outsourcing contractor. After the arrests were made, Kundra took a leave of absence from his CIO job. But a White House spokesman confirmed late Tuesday that Kundra has now been reinstated to that position.

The government claims that Acar and Sushil Bansal, CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corp. in Washington, collaborated to overbill the DC government on software purchases by submitting purchase orders for more licenses than were actually delivered.

The two men, who were arrested in concert with a raid on the District's IT offices, also added "ghost workers" - nonexistent employees - to the IT department's payroll and created timesheets for them so payments could be made in their names, according to the charging documents.

The judge said he was "struck by the utter cynicism showed by the participants in this scheme," adding that there was an "extraordinary lack of effort to even conceal what was going on" as part of the alleged scheme.

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