U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

State Department Worker Committed ‘Corporate Espionage’ for Tens of Thousands in Bribes: Feds

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U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

A federal construction contractor that worked for several U.S. agencies bribed a State Department worker to commit “corporate espionage” and steer contracts worth more than $100 million to his company in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in cash, federal investigators allege in a newly-unsealed search warrant affidavit.

Iranian-born May Salehi, who was assigned to the State Department’s division of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), had a security clearance and a mountain of debt, according to the document. To get out of her financial hole, special agents working for the State Department’s Inspector General believe Salehi, 65, illegally helped steer what might have amounted to more than $100 million in State business to a Washington, D.C.-based company as part of a “multifaceted fraud scheme” that spanned several years and at least half a dozen countries.

Salehi began working for the State Department in 1996, according to her LinkedIn profile. A State Department spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Salehi is still employed there. She does not have a lawyer listed in court records, and did not respond to a message seeking comment. No arrests have yet been made, according to the affidavit.

The origins of the case can be traced back to 2014, when Montage, Inc. of Chevy Chase, Maryland, won a $26.1 million State contract to renovate the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria. But the project went two years over deadline, and nearly bankrupted the firm, the affidavit states. That’s when something strange happened: Instead of avoiding State Department projects following the Nigeria “debacle,” the affidavit says Montage “transformed its business model so that it relied almost exclusively on State Department projects thereafter—indeed, the exact type of overseas, complex, U.S. embassy/consulate project that Montage had just been nearly decimated by.”

Over the next three years, Montage mysteriously won six major contracts with the State Department to build U.S. embassies or consulates overseas. This “seemingly counterintuitive” development can be “explained by the existence of a State Department insider who had an illegal relationship with Montage,” according to the affidavit. From that point on, roughly 95 percent of Montage’s revenue came exclusively from State Department contracts—$106.5 million of $111.4 million to date—nearly double what it had taken in previously.

Who’s the Mole?

In September 2020, State Department agents raided Montage’s offices on suspicion of, among other things, bank fraud, money laundering, and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials. There, they seized numerous documents, nearly 40 computers, several cell phones, and a 96-terabyte server.

One office was the D.C. headquarters Montage lists publicly as its primary place of business. The second was what investigators describe in the warrant as the company’s “secret” office suite in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The space was purchased through a shell company and had a sign by the door identifying it as the American Society for Addictive Medicine.

There, agents encountered Montage founder and principal Sina Moayedi. In the affidavit, Special Agent Christopher Swenson states he told Moayedi that if he happened to have “information about a Government insider, that it would be something we would be very interested to hear.”

“Moayedi’s demeanor and expression changed immediately, as he raised his head and made direct eye contact with me, stating in substance, ‘I think I understand what you’re asking: You want to know if I’m paying someone in the State Department?’” the agent recalled.

Investigators suspected Moayedi had forged business licenses and credentials for Montage employees he said would be working on government projects. A resume he submitted to the State Department for a project manager on one job claimed the employee had “years of full-time complex work in the construction field in various capacities.” However, the affidavit states the person “had actually sold meat as a door-to-door salesman, was a landscaper, and built swimming pools for several years during the same time period.”

Agents interviewed two unnamed Montage executives, who blamed the company’s troubles on its former CFO, claiming he had embezzled money from the firm. But when they visited the ex-CFO at his home in Maryland, a different story emerged.

During the interview, Swenson read the former CFO an email in which a Montage bookkeeper painted him as an alcoholic, and said he had mental health problems. The CFO had covered up his alleged theft by “creating an entire phony universe of Quickbooks, payroll, receivables, payables and bank account statements,” the bookkeeper claimed in the message, and said the CFO “took payroll under assumed names.”

Upon learning that he was being set up as Montage’s fall guy, the former CFO turned on Moayedi, describing him as a “master forger” who electronically altered bank balances, forged resumes, and kept at least four sets of books that Moayedi not only used to dupe lenders but also to significantly reduce his own personal tax burden.

That’s when the CFO dropped a bombshell. He told agents that Moayedi “had cultivated a career employee at the State Department” and paid this person “bribes in exchange for intelligence regarding Government contracts,” the affidavit states. The CFO didn’t remember the State Department insider’s name, but recalled that she was a female “Iranian friend” of Moayedi’s whom he met through a “community group relating to Iranian heritage.”

The CFO told agents that he had met the insider at a pre-bid conference for a State Department project in Slovenia a few years back. She had also helped Moayedi and Montage win a State Department contract in the Caribbean in exchange for a $60,000 kickback, the CFO said. To hide the transaction, the CFO claimed Moayedi cut a check which the CFO cashed and provided to a middleman, who passed the cash to the corrupt State Department employee. To further obfuscate the truth, the insider was told to give the middleman a $2,000 Persian rug in exchange for the cash “in case ‘anyone asked’” about it.

Follow the Money

A search of State Department travel records identified the insider as May Salehi, an engineer in the State Department’s OBO Project Development and Coordination Division. Passport records confirmed that Salehi, who lived less than a mile from Montage’s “secret” office, was in fact born in Iran.

Salehi’s position requires a security clearance, so investigators analyzed her official paperwork for clues. One red flag involved Salehi’s 2007 divorce, which took place shortly after she secured a $1.5 million mortgage for a home in Great Falls, Virginia. The mortgage payments on the house ran approximately $10,000 a month—exceeding Salehi’s gross salary at the time of $9,333 a month. Another detail that raised agents’ suspicions was a Porsche Boxster convertible Salehi purchased in 2014, paying off $15,000 of a 60-month, $25,000 loan in a lump-sum the following year.

<div class="inline-image__credit">U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia</div>

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

A review of phone records found that Salehi had “significant, sudden telephonic contacts with Moayedi in the precise period that Montage’s fortunes suddenly changed,” the affidavit says. Financial records subpoenaed by investigators turned up numerous transactions, each worth tens of thousands of dollars, including one with a memo line that read, “Final payment for Anna’s house.”

Investigators then dug into Salehi’s State Department email account. They found that Salehi “likely knew of Montage and Moayedi (in her professional capacity) by 2006, as Montage was bidding State Department projects at that time in New Delhi, India and Abuja, Nigeria,” the affidavit says, noting that agents found at least one official document in her email archive listing Sina Moayedi as Montage’s point of contact. She had also forwarded numerous internal State project documents from her work email to her personal email, all of which pertained to contracts Montage later won. Many of them were sent at odd intervals, furthering investigators’ suspicions.

“In particular, forwarding trip reports so long after the conclusion of the trip itself tends to negate any suggestion that Salehi was merely ‘taking her work home with her,’ and therefore forwarded these emails for the purpose of finishing up State Department business from home,” states the affidavit. “On the other hand, transferring these documents from her State Department account to Salehi Personal Email Account-1 would have certain benefits for someone engaged in selling Government information. For example, such transfers would allow Salehi to print hard copies for later dissemination without any State Department oversight.”

A review of Salehi’s search history on her State Department computer revealed further evidence against her. According to the affidavit, Salehi searched for “SCI clearance,” “herb for anxiety,” “Kratom herb for anxiety,” “Montage construction company litigations,” “what is litigation,” YouTube videos about litigation, and “Shiva Hamidinia,” who was Montage’s longtime legal counsel. Investigators subpoenaed cell phone records from a Montage employee and found a text from Moayedi that said: “Nela please conf call me 1/2 through your meeting with Shiva and May.” Agents also discovered Salehi’s contact info within Moayedi’s cell phone contacts and his Telegram, Skype, and iCloud accounts.

The feds now want to seize further documents they believe will bolster the government’s case against Salehi.

“[A]mong the materials we are requesting permission to seize are Salehi’s tax-related documents and filings, which are likely to contain either (implicit) admissions of her having received bribe payments, or false statements in an attempt to conceal the bribery scheme, just as she appears to have done in her State Department financial disclosure forms,” the affidavit says.

<div class="inline-image__credit">U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia</div>

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Investigators asked a judge to let them search Salehi herself, including “any and all clothing and personal belongings, backpacks, briefcases, purses, bags, and electronic devices that are within Salehi’s immediate vicinity and control, wherever Salehi is located within the federal judicial district of the District of Columbia.”

According to court filings, agents executed two warrants at 6:12 a.m. on May 20 and seized Salehi’s Apple Watch, three iPhones, a Macbook Pro, a micro SD card, a Dell laptop, an iPad, and a letter-size manila folder with a gray folder inside.

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Alia Kashyap was suffering from Corona infection in November 2020 (Photo courtesy: Youtube @ Aaliyah Kashyap)

Anurag Kashyap’s daughter Alia met her mother after 10 months, showed her glimpse of her home in VIDEO

Alia Kashyap was suffering from Corona infection in November 2020 (Photo courtesy: Youtube @ Aaliyah Kashyap)

Alia Kashyap was suffering from Corona infection in November 2020 (Photo courtesy: Youtube @ Aaliyah Kashyap)

Alia Kashyap (Aaliyah Kashyap), daughter of Anurag Kashyap and Aarti Bajaj, has returned to her Mumbai home after 10 months.

New Delhi film producer Anurag Kashyap The daughter of Alia Kashyap (Aaliyah Kashyap) has returned to her Mumbai home after 10 months. 20-year-old Aaliya has told about the journey of coming back from America to her home in a new YouTube blog. Aaliya is studying in America. In the new video, she revealed that she is going home for a month. Before her flight, Alia revealed that she stayed at her father Anurag’s best friend’s house. After landing on the plane, she headed home. On reaching home, Alia’s mother hugged and kissed her. He has also shared a glimpse of his bedroom, in which several photo frames, a bookshelf and a handbag are visible. While she is happy to return home, her mother is worried about her weight. When asked the reason behind the weight loss, Alia said, ‘I was depressed.’ His mother said, ‘Now I am going to make you fat like a goat (goat)’.

Youtube Video

In the last few months, Alia has spoken openly about her mental health. He revealed that his mental health started deteriorating after Covid-19 came positive in November 2020. Last month, Alia said in a blog that she was admitted to the hospital in December due to a panic attack. Aaliya’s parents moved to the US to live with her, after which she began to feel better. However, in April, she suffered a serious anxiety attack. ‘Suddenly, my body became numb, completely numb. My heart started beating very fast. I started sweating. My body started trembling violently. Really, I was like, ‘I’m dying’. It felt like it was for me and me. Was about to die, ‘he said. Describing it as’ the most frightening day and night ‘of my life, he said,’ I felt so much anxiety without any reason. Like, nothing happened, ‘he said. ‘After that Sunday night, for the last 10 days, I have felt constant anxiety. Even now. My heart rate was too high. I could not breathe. My chest was hurting.




Cision

U.S. Senate Candidate Khaled Salem Advises Israel and United Nations to Double Down and End Hamas Terrorism Forever

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Salem offers support and solidarity for Israel, urging patience as Israel continues to dismantle Hamas organization and intercept missiles smuggled through illegal tunnels

NEW YORK, May 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Khaled Salem, the popular candidate running for the U.S. Senate against Chuck Schumer in 2022, today implored the United Nations and the State of Israel to “finish the job” by ending efforts of the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza and the West Bank by destroying all missiles and the illegal tunnels used to transport weapons. The range of the deadly rockets and missiles launched by Hamas make clear how dangerous and capable the terrorists are of bombing Israeli cities and the West Bank settlements.

Khaled specifically calls on President Joseph Biden, the United States Congress and NATO to support Israel and its people and to not give in to terrorist-sponsored Palestinian protests instigated by Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah. The terrorist-sponsored nations know that Israel is the first line of defense for western civilization against radical Islam.

“It is in the best interest of all peaceful nations to understand the dangerous, growing range of terrorist missiles launched at Israeli citizens from Gaza. I commend the Israeli military and admire its efforts over 11 days of fighting as Israel defends its citizens. The missiles pummeling Israel have a longer reach every year, now up to 150 km, because of Iranian-sponsored terrorist technology. Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah, Iran, various Arab nations and Turkey are behind the scenes and intent on Israel’s demise. I believe that it is crucial for America to support the Jewish State’s governance of the West Bank, as 70% of Israel’s Jewish population and 80% of Israel’s industrial base are located within a 100 square mile area.”

As Khaled explained, if Hamas and Hezbollah gain access to the West Bank, Israel could be decimated in hours. Iranian-made rockets can now reach Northern Israel and the Lebanon border, which is especially troubling.

Khaled also brought another issue to light after having traveled to Ukraine. On a recent trip, he was penalized and detained at the airport, because of his place of birth even his holding U.S. citizenship. Khaled is sending a strong message to the U.S. State Department of State to allow the option of omitting the place of birth on U.S. passports to protect dual citizens abroad from discrimination.

In further policy announcements, Khaled plans to introduce re-education and training Bills for Americans affected by COVID-19 job loss. He will ask Congress to create a subsidy for Americans able to return to work after having received their vaccinations but are hesitant to lose unemployment insurance, in order to guarantee that their families will be fed and safe.

Key global policy positions from Mr. Salem include:

Free university education for American students with a $0 budget from the government to support this plan.
Laws and procedures to reduce domestic violence nationwide.
The establish a home loan program for middle class single parents with no penalty for credit history.
Freeing US citizens who are allegedly detained abroad.
Free medical insurance for American people.
* Reduce the NY State Sales Tax for six years until the state recovers from COVID-19 economic hardship.

Khaled asks New York Voters to look not at his religion or where he came from, but rather what he offers to the citizenry in terms of policy.

Khaled policy positions argue for free university education for American students with a $0 budget from the government to support this plan.

Salem is running in the next general election, scheduled for November 8, 2022. Thirty-four of the Senate’s 100 seats are being contested in these elections.

visit https://www.khaled2022forcongress.com/

https://www.instagram.com/khaled2022forcongress/

Media Contact
U.S. Senate Candidate Khaled Salem
310732@email4pr.com
1-518-348-6868

Cision

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SOURCE U.S. Senate Candidate Khaled Salem

Radhe: Salman Khan used to complete the hour-long action scene in 15-20 seconds, used to be surprised by the director

 

Photo courtesy: @Salman Khan instahram

Photo courtesy: @Salman Khan instahram

Bhaijaan used to be ready in just 20 seconds for Radhe’s fight scene. Gautam Gulati, who plays the chameleon in the film, said – ‘Salman Khan is very fast and agile. He did not need any training.

Mumbai: Salman Khan ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ film of ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’ is being seen all over the world. While this film released on OTT in India is liking Salman Khan’s fans, the critics are criticizing this film as well. People believe that Salman Khan should not do such stunt films anymore. But do you know, Bhaijaan used to be ready in just 20 seconds for Radhe’s fight scene? Who plays the chameleon in the film during a conversation with HT Gautam Gulati Said- ‘Salman Khan is very fast and agile. He did not need any training. I asked him how he would take the advice given on the action sequence. He replied, ‘I have been doing this for 34-35 years, I do not need that much training.’ This is a fact, if you see them performing live, then you will know.

He further said, ‘I remember that Koreans were also surprised to see him doing stunts so quickly. It takes hours to choreograph a sequence and Salman just takes a look and gets ready for a stunt in 15-20 seconds. He only watches the choreography and then becomes a quick swimmer. We took 10-15 days training for the action scene. The team came to Mumbai from Korea and we (Randeep, Sangay and Gautam) used to train together with Salman for the fighting scene. We used to do scenes after training for several days and Salman sir used to get dressed like this. Gautam Gulati further stated that Salman Khan He is very happy working with He said- ‘He liked my work. Prabhudeva sir liked my acting. I was taken like a new artist but I am very happy to start a new journey ‘. Let us tell you that Gautam is going to work on some new projects soon.




Lenovo Go PC Accessory Range Unveiled Featuring a Wireless Multi-Device Mouse and USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank

 

Lenovo has announced a new range specifically for its PC accessories line predicting that the new ‘hybrid model’ is the future. The company is calling it Lenovo Go and the range will include products made for better mobile productivity, while keeping a hybrid workforce ecosystem in mind. The announced accessories in the Lenovo Go range are the Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank and Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse. The power bank offers a capacity of 20,000mAh.

The Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank is priced starting at $89.99 (roughly Rs. 6,600) and will be available from June 2021. On the other hand, the Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse is priced at $59.99 (roughly Rs. 4,400) and will also be available sometime next month. The company also teases the arrival of audio products, with the company hinting at a new pair of headphones on the company site.

The Lenovo Go USB Type-C Laptop Power Bank has 20,000mAh capacity with a 65-watt power output. The company claims that it takes about 3 hours to fully charge the power bank and it enables you to simultaneously charge up to 3 devices via dual USB Type-C ports and one USB Type-A port. The dual USB Type-C capabilities can also charge up to 2 devices while recharging the power bank itself. The cable is fixed into the device itself eliminating the need to carry an extra cable.

Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse can be paired with up to 3 devices and users can switch between them easily with a push of a button. Beyond 3-device pairing, you can use a Lenovo Unified Pairing Receiver to connect other devices with one dongle. The company claims that it can be used on nearly any surface and rarely runs out of battery, thanks to its blue optical sensor on board. This mouse features an adjustable DPI sensitivity, a programmable utility button with shortcuts configured for TEAMS meetings by default. The Lenovo Go Wireless Multi-Device Mouse offers two months of use on a single 1.5 hours of charge, thanks to support for both wired USB Type-C and wireless Qi charging. Connectivity options include 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v5.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can \
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Thousands join London march in solidarity with Palestine | Palestinian territories

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Thousands of people have begun to march through Hyde Park, central London, in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Organisers say immediate action is needed from the UK government to help end the “brutal” violence against the Palestinian people.

At least 126 people have been killed in Gaza, including 31 children, after a spiral of violence that began with the eviction of Arabs from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem. In Israel at least seven people have been killed, including one child.

Saturday is the Palestinian Nakba day, marking the anniversary of the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Arabs from their homes more than 70 years ago.

A boy waves a Palestine flag as demonstrators attend a protest in London. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Protesters gathered at Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, and will march to the Israeli embassy at Palace Green, Kensington. The MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Zarah Sultana and Diane Abbott are among the scheduled speakers.

The demonstration has been organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain.

A spokesperson said: “It is vital that the UK government takes immediate action. It must stop allowing Israel’s brutal violence against and oppression of the Palestinian people to go unpunished.