According to the affidavit filed by the OIG Special Agent on this case, Osama Esam Saleem Ayesh is a 36 year old Jordanian national employed by the US Department of State at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Apparently he works for the US Embassy in Baghdad but was hired by the Iraq Support Unit at the US Embassy in Amman, Jordan in 2006 (where he principally resides). At the time of his hiring, the Affidavit states, a Locally Employed Staff Personal Services Agreement between Ayesh and the State Department was created.
In January 2010, OIG agents at the US Embassy Baghdad received information from an Arabic-speaking Iraqi business person alleging that Ayesh embezzled at least $100,000 from the US Embassy.
In total, $243,416 was allegedly funneled to the bank account of Eqbal Ezzat Yousef, Ayesh’s wife, between September 2008 and June 2010, according to the affidavit.
You can read the Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint against Ayesh here which also requested the issuance of the arrest warrant.
But here is the interesting bit from the charging document:
“In June 2010, Ayeh was confirmed for enrollment in a DOS training course held in Arlington, Virginia from August 16-27, 2010. Ayesh is ticketed to arrive at Dulles International Airport on August 16, 2010, at approximately 12:21 pm.”
According to the DOJ press release, Ayesh was arrested on Aug. 16, 2010, based on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of conflict of interest.
So he must have gotten off the plane and into the waiting arms of law enforcement officers at Dulles.
Below is the press release from USDOJ: U.S. Embassy Employee in Iraq Charged with Theft of Public Funds and Conflict of Interest:
A foreign national employed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, was charged today with theft of public money and acts affecting a personal financial interest in connection with $237,236 in U.S. Government funds, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia and Acting Assistant Director in Charge John G. Perren of the FBI Washington Field Office.
An indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia charges Osama Esam Saleem Ayesh, 36, with two counts of theft of public money and one count of acts affecting a personal financial interest, commonly known as a conflict of interest charge. Ayesh was arrested on Aug. 16, 2010, based on a criminal complaint charging him with one count of conflict of interest.
According to the indictment, Ayesh held the position of shipping and customs supervisor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Ayesh was responsible for preparing the necessary documents and logistical support for customs clearance and delivery of shipments coming into Iraq for the embassy and embassy officials and personnel. While Ayesh worked at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, his primary residence was in Amman, Jordan.
The indictment alleges that, between November 2008 and June 2010, Ayesh fraudulently caused $237,236 in U.S. Government funds, intended for the payment of services provided to the U.S. Embassy pursuant to two Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs), to be sent to a bank account in Jordan that he controlled. The indictment further alleges that, between September 2008 and June 2010, Ayesh participated in the creation and operation of BPAs executed by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, in which Ayesh knew that he and his wife had a financial interest.
The indictment alleges that Ayesh also knew that he and his wife had a financial interest in the instigation of U.S. electronic funds transfers to pay for services rendered under those BPAs.
The theft of public funds counts each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conflict of interest charge carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.