Former El Paso ICE Supervisory Intelligence Research Specialist Enters Guilty Plea to Misuse of a Passport and Theft of Government Travel Funds
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 13, 2011|
United States Attorney Robert Pitman announced that 64-year-old Ahmed Adil Abdallat, a former supervisory intelligence research specialist for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in El Paso, Texas, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to federal charges in connection with a scheme to steal more than $1,000 in government travel funds and for misuse of a diplomatic passport.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Richard Mesa this morning, Abdallat pleaded guilty to two counts of misuse of a diplomatic passport and one count of conversion of public money.
By pleading guilty, Abdallat admitted that in March 2007, he was issued a diplomatic passport in order to perform various temporary duties at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia and several other foreign countries. Abdallat further admitted that he used his official diplomatic passport on two occasions for the personal purpose of travel to and from Amman, Jordan after he was permanently assigned to duty in El Paso and no longer had any official embassy, mission, or related activities which required overseas travel on a diplomatic passport. Abdallat also admitted that from February 15, 2009, through September 10, 2010, he submitted 13 vouchers for travel from El Paso to Washington, D.C. and received $116,392.34 in travel fund reimbursements. A review of the travel voucher documents submitted by Abdallat for reimbursement revealed that they contained multiple fictitious charges for lodging, vehicle rental and parking. Though an exact amount has yet to be calculated, Abdallat agreed in court that the loss to the government as a result of his actions is between $70,000 and $120,000. The amount of restitution will be determined by the Court at sentencing.
Abdallat remains in federal custody pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
This investigation was conducted by a multi-agency task force including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. Assistant United States Attorney Greg McDonald is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.