A former Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges stemming from the theft of proprietary software and sensitive databases for his private business, officials stated.

According to court documents, Charles K. Edwards, 61, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, executed a scheme to steal confidential and proprietary software from the government.

Charles K. Edwards

Edwards worked for DHS-OIG from February 2008 until December 2013, including as Acting Inspector General. Prior to DHS-OIG, he worked at the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG).

At both agencies, Edwards had access to software systems, including one used for case management and other systems holding sensitive identifying information of employees.

After leaving DHS-OIG, Edwards founded Delta Business Solutions Inc., located in Maryland.

From at least 2015 until 2017, he stole software from DHS-OIG, along with sensitive government databases containing personal identifying information of DHS and USPS employees.

He did this so his company could develop a commercially-owned version of a case management system to be offered for sale to government agencies, according to officials.

Edwards pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit theft of government property and theft of government property.

A second defendant in the case, Murali Y. Venkata, 56, of Aldie, Virginia, has pleaded not guilty to charges and his case remains pending. 

Edwards will be sentenced at a later date. 

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.

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