SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An employee of a U.S. Department of Defense contractor and another man were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of participating in a scheme to steal and sell sensitive U.S. Air Force technical data, federal prosecutors said.
Sarfraz Yousuf of Miramar, Florida, is accused of acquiring 1,875 Air Force documents while working for Summit Aerospace Inc., a Miami-based aircraft maintenance company, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Yousuf, 43, earned more than $130,000 from selling the documents to Marc Chavez, a Southern California man who illegally resold the data to his customers, the statement said.
Chavez, 53, acquired the information on behalf of LTC Products, an aerospace data company that he ran out of his home in Trabuco Canyon, south of Los Angeles, according to court filings.
Yousuf was not authorized to sell the technical orders and Chavez was not authorized to receive them, prosecutors said.
Yousuf and Chavez are charged with one count each of theft of government property. It wasn’t immediately known if either man has an attorney to speak on their behalf.
If convicted, the defendants could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.
The documents involved in the case cover installation, operation, maintenance and handling of Air Force equipment and material, according to the affidavit.
Authorities say Yousuf sold 34 Air Force technical orders to Chavez for $2,170, including one marked with a distribution statement reserved for “technical data of such military significance that release… may jeopardize an important technological or operational military advantage of the United States.” Chavez resold the orders to customers for a profit, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Officials said investigators discovered the scheme while looking into a separate case involving the illegal sale of government data by a U.S. Navy employee.