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$2,000 Bribe Bought Password To DC P.O. System

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-what-harm-could-that-do? dept.

Government 187

theodp writes "While the Administration is counting on new Federal CIO Vivek Kundra to simplify and speed the federal IT procurement process, it's doubtful he'll be able to reduce red tape to the extent that a former minion of his did at the scandal-rocked D.C. Office of the CTO. Exhibiting some truly out-of-the-box thinking, project manager Tawanna Sellmon not only processed phony invoices for the contractor at the center of the D.C. bribery and kickback scandal, she also gave him the password to the city's computerized database used to track purchase orders. Sellmon pleaded guilty last week for her role in the scam, which netted her an envelope containing $2,000 in cash, as well as an undisclosed number of $25-$100 gift cards."

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hmm (4, Funny)

SatanClauz (741416) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503169)

what should I set the reserve for the database password of the state police toxicology test results?

Re:hmm (2, Funny)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503445)

You think you can still actually sell that? I mean the password is pretty obvious. UrBusteD01 seems to be pretty universal in each state.

Re:hmm (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503573)

It's either "password," "sex," or "god."

Re:hmm (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503761)

But not necessarely in that order.

Re:hmm (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504167)

that's "love", "secret", "sex", and "god"

so, would your holiness care to change her password?

Re:hmm (1)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505533)

fuck.db

I bet... (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503195)

I bet she kept the secret for 47 hours.

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503321)

Slashdotters love Madonna!

madonnanaked.jpg [wordpress.com]
MADONNA IS THE BEST! [madonna.com]

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Chorus:

Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats (after first time, with your heartbeat)
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

Re:IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505205)

This post just proves that trolls love skanks and whores. Phhht.

Re:I bet... (2, Informative)

Syncerus (213609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504177)

This wasn't a troll. It was a reference to a previous article.

Franklin is spinning in his grave. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503261)

Franklin knows better to get more money than $2k when if ever he was bribed. I guess some people know how and when to sell-out the postal patrons while others don't. Fahck'n Yews.

Makes one think. (4, Insightful)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503273)

Do you have remote access capabilities onto your Network? VPN, Citrix, not blocking GotomyPC? Has anyone at your company done the same thing, offering the competition direct access to your systems?

Re:Makes one think. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503627)

Yes, but I also have a sack truck, two rolls of duct tape, a pair of bulldog clips, and access to the 3-phase supply.

Re:Makes one think. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504985)

BoFH, is that you?

Oblig. XKCD reference (1, Funny)

dmancilla (1370287) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503341)

$2.000 and gift cards?? i could've get the same with $5 http://xkcd.com/538/ [xkcd.com]

IT'S MADONNA'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503447)

Slashdotters love Madonna!

madonnanaked.jpg [wordpress.com]
MADONNA IS THE BEST! [madonna.com]
I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new

Chorus:

Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats (after first time, with your heartbeat)
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold

MADONNA IS THE BEST!

Re:Oblig. XKCD reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504143)

Actually, you would be hard pressed to find that wrench for $5.

Re:Oblig. XKCD reference (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505321)

Try the "Bargain Bin" in most department stores, and even some auto parts stores. While a quality 15" crescent might cost 50 bucks, those bargain bins have "Made in China" wrenches that are quite suitable for loosening lips. Depending on the fortitude of the "suspect", $5 will usually do the trick.

Re:Oblig. XKCD reference (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29505039)

You're a whore.

What always astounds me about govt corruption (5, Insightful)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503419)

...is just how laughably cheap people can be bought for. Two grand and some gift cards? SERIOUSLY? You'd go to jail for that? When you're a project manager at a government job with great benefits, probably making more than that every WEEK?

It's like the Abramoff scandal. People will sell out their country for Capitals tickets. It's not even the Bulls or something!!

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (4, Insightful)

Kozz (7764) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503667)

...is just how laughably cheap people can be bought for. Two grand and some gift cards? SERIOUSLY? You'd go to jail for that?

On the contrary... they would not go to jail for that. It's their own ignorance and stupidity which cause them to be so easily bought -- and to believe that they won't go to jail because they won't get caught. Criminals are not exactly known for their brains.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (4, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505453)

'Criminals are not exactly known for their brains.'

Well, at least the ones of whom you've heard.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (2, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503691)

Two grand and some gift cards? SERIOUSLY? You'd go to jail for that?

Dude, seriously. They were Walmart gift cards. What normal person wouldn't spend a few years at Club Fed for those bad boys?

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504613)

What normal person wouldn't spend a few years at Club Fed for those bad boys?

I don't think you go to Club Fed when the victim of your crime was Uncle Sam himself. He can be a rather unforgiving sort. I'd imagine you go to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for this sort of stupidity.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505207)

What normal person wouldn't spend a few years at Club Fed for those bad boys?

I don't think you go to Club Fed when the victim of your crime was Uncle Sam himself. He can be a rather unforgiving sort. I'd imagine you go to Federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for this sort of stupidity.

Wait.

Club Fed... Federal PMITA.

Club Fed... Federal PMITA.

They won't send you to Federal prison; they'll send you to Federal prison...

Okay then.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503697)

I'm guessing Tawanna doesn't come from money..

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (2, Insightful)

amplt1337 (707922) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503847)

Enough to get herself a responsible management position at an important technology office. I understand your meaning, but to be qualified for this job she absolutely had a college education, possibly master's degree, and at least five years of tech-related work experience, so she's at least come to money even if she hasn't come from it.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505429)

Well criminals never get to keep the proceeds of crime, at least the proceeds they confess too or are caught with. Now if you have access to their Swiss or Bahamas bank accounts (bankers facilitating crime on a global basis), you likely end up with a quite different risk benefit analysis, really, millions of dollars of fraud and not even a 10% commission, now that would be truly hard to believe.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

Chibi (232518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505709)

re: "responsible management position at an important technology office"

I think you might be overestimating the qualifications needed for promotion within the government. I worked for the Federal Government for a while, and their review process was basically pass/fail. Someone who had been around for 15+ years was discussing promotions with me once, and they government, trying to be fair to a fault, will do things like give priority to people with advanced degrees.

This might sound fine, but there are plenty of not-so-great universities that offer masters degree programs that don't require too much effort. Also, I imagine she might have taken advantage of some type of tuition reimbursement. So, some type of higher position as a civil servant doesn't always equate to a high skillset or lots of experience or good education. Of course there are exceptions, but the norm is probably not all that impressive.

Also, most people of influence and wealth don't target civil servant-type positions. They got after appointments and then try to make more money eventually moving to the private sector.

Just read the post that the parent was replying to, and I realized he was replying to a troll... =\

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503981)

I agree, but it's not just gov't corruption. People go to jail all the time for embezzling 10 grand.

At least they do here in philly.

Maybe it's us.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

IcyNeko (891749) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504069)

I'd do it for $2001 and a few happy meals!

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504467)

"...is just how laughably cheap people can be bought for. Two grand and some gift cards? SERIOUSLY? You'd go to jail for that? "

The problem is that, until recently, people WEREN'T going to jail for that. The embezzlement in the DC tax office went on for years and involved many people, but no one knew about it. Marion Barry just got caught paying hush money to his ex girlfriend with government funds, and the council is trying to decide if that's an ethics violation.

I don't think DC city government is any more corrupt than other major cities, but when you operate in the center of the 24 hour news universe, you'd think they would clue in a bit.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (4, Informative)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504551)

HA! That's nothing.

In Detroit here we had a 1.2 BILLION dollar deal that was approved by city council only after someone got a $5,000 or $10,000 bribe. You might have heard of Monica Conyers or perhaps her husband, John Conyers.

The way it works here is you hire a "consultant" who supposedly puts you in touch with the right people. What actually happens is the consultant pockets half of the consultant fee, and gives the other half to the person you want to influence. And then the vote changes.

A few people are already on their way to jail, but it's nothing compared to the cost to the city and the hundreds of workers who lost their jobs as a result of the deal.

Re:What always astounds me about govt corruption (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505263)

Some people commit heinous acts for the thrill of it. Robert Hansen of the FBI always wanted to be a spy; in time he ended up working for the FBI but to fulfill his long held fantasies he spied against the US for the Russians.

Well, there's a shocker..... (-1, Troll)

PontifexMaximus (181529) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503497)

Our fearless leader appoints an utterly incompetent and corrupt person to lead the most critical part of our infrastructure in this country. Geez. I've never been more ashamed not only to be an American, but also to be in IT. I can't wait for Obama's one term to be up, he's himself very much correct when he said in 2005 that he wasn't capable of doing the job.

Re:Well, there's a shocker..... (2, Informative)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503549)

Um no? She was a underling that was CAUGHT, she had nothing to do with the guy who is now the CIO. Get your facts straight before you decide to be a right wing moron.

What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503963)

YOU LIE!!!11 Obama was obviously pallin' around with this person for years and had a deep and meaningful relationship with her! But I gotta go--Glenn Beck is on.

Re:Well, there's a shocker..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503745)

you're dumb...

makes you wonder... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503513)

...what kind of "EEO" bullshit got "Tawanna" cushy job as a "project manager" at the DC CTO office.

Re:makes you wonder... (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503635)

"...what kind of "EEO" bullshit got "Tawanna" cushy job as a "project manager" at the DC CTO office."

FYI, DC is a majority black city - having a black government employee there is like having a Native American employed by tribal governments. EEO would only serve to get white and hispanic applicants hired in DC.

Re:makes you wonder... (0, Offtopic)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503675)

Please cite a case where affirmative action has helped a white guy get a job in DC.

Re:makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504053)

See Bush, George W.

Re:makes you wonder... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504361)

Reread my post - I said "would" apply. The prospective form, not the descriptive.

Re:makes you wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503719)

Right, like EEO policies apply to whites. You act as if one of those "E"s stands for equal.

Re:makes you wonder... (2, Interesting)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504691)

nice theory, but i grew up in DC. yes black people can and some do discriminate against whites and other groups. heck, as old as it is, School Daze was and still is relevant vis a vis light/dark black discrimination.

however, this is probably mostly a symptom of the society of ineptitude that is DC government. your hiring manager has to have a clue and be able to vet whether an applicant actually knows the stuff their alleged degree says they should know. that hiring manager's manager is likely a political appointee, and well, you get the idea that politics might be involved.

i also used that experience (of having grown up in DC) to express my wish on /. that Obama choose the Cisco person rather than the DC guy with 0 clue about tech and associates and underlings of "questionable" ethics. at best our CIO is clueless about managing people, at worst he's involved in the corruption, but smarter than his underlings. the latter doesn't seem hard from the behavior this lady evidenced.

when i was in high school in DC Public Fools^H^H^H^H^H Schools, DC got a federal grant of like $10-20million to improve school access to computers, which at the time (mid 90s) consisted primarily of private corporate charity of end of life PC ATs. The government wasted the money paying contractors to "measure the state of computer and network access in the classroom". this was something a manager with two eyes and half a brain could have done in less than a month. none of the money got spent on actually putting computers in classrooms.

Re:makes you wonder... (2, Interesting)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505063)

"nice theory, but i grew up in DC. yes black people can and some do discriminate against whites and other groups. heck, as old as it is, School Daze was and still is relevant vis a vis light/dark black discrimination.

however, this is probably mostly a symptom of the society of ineptitude that is DC government. your hiring manager has to have a clue and be able to vet whether an applicant actually knows the stuff their alleged degree says they should know. that hiring manager's manager is likely a political appointee, and well, you get the idea that politics might be involved."

You misunderstand; I was replying to an overtly racist comment suggesting that the only reason the person had the job in the first place was because she was black and an EEO program. I was pointing out that was impossible, as blacks cannot sue a majority black organization for "equal opportunity". The only people with grounds for that are minorities, which in DC means whites and hispanics. I was arguing that there was NOT racial bias in her hiring, not that there was.

The problem with bribery (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503605)

$2000 + change is selling yourself cheap.

Most people can be bought, but the price is so high they can't spend it without attracting attention.

"Would you betray your company/country for $1?" "No."
"Would you betray your company/country for $1,000?" "No."
"Would you betray your company/country for $1,000,000?" "No."
"Would you betray your company/country for $1,000,000,000?" "Maybe" "ok, how do you plan on explaining how you suddenly got a billion dollars?"

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503801)

"Would you betray your company/country for $1,000,000,000?" "Maybe" "ok, how do you plan on explaining how you suddenly got a billion dollars?"

From a purely scientific point of view, one can simply have the party in question organize an official "raffle" or "sales promotion lottery" or some such, ostensibly meant to promote their product or service and open to general public. And since they control the entire process, it would not be too difficult for you to end up with the "winning" raffle ticket.

Purely academic, you understand.

Re:The problem with bribery (2, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503911)

But then you have to pay taxes on your $1,000,000,000. Raffle winnings are treated the same as lottery winnings, which are all treated as gambling winnings and probably taxable in the 30-40% range. In this case the irony would be that 1/3 to 1/2 of the bribery money would go back to the govt, and eventually be used to hire even more corrupt and inept people...

Re:The problem with bribery (2, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504101)

Still beats the hell out of a $25 gift-card, if you ask me ... but then again neither the bribers or the bribees in these two-bit, amateur-hour shows were known for competence or ambition.

For some perspective, consider the Iraq invasion: $3 trillion (and that is just the latest estimate) in cash down the drain, all to private concerns, multiple billions of which are not only unaccounted for, but were actually delivered in form of mountains of $100, $50 and $20 bills on shipping pallets....

And then there is the "too big to fail" multi-hundred billion cash bailout for the destitute and starving Wall Street, the specifics of which are so sensitive as to constitute a "national security" concern ...

In short, what is on display here is the difference between professionals and hobbyists.

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504107)

Considering most money laundering processes can easily have an efficiency of only 10-20% (ie. you lose up to 80% of the money), I reckon losing 30-40% is a pretty sweet deal.

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504281)

--yet another thing that baffles me about the American system. You've WON a PRIZE -- why does the government.... No, wait, strike that: Why do the citizens of your country continue to allow the government to take 30-40% of it away? I'm pretty sure that it's the same with gambling at a casino and winning the big prize on The Price is Right. Am I mistaken?

In Canada there are no taxes paid on prize winnings. None at all. However, if you win the billion dollars and earn interest off of it, those proceeds are taxed at the standard rate.

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504385)

Same with Australia. Honestly, I don't think most people care. What percentage of people actually wins something, let alone something large enough to get that much a chunk taken out of? The rest of us are probably bitter at them and secretly get jollies off of watching the winners get reamed by the gov't. (Schaudefreude for the win!)

Seriously, people on average would rather get $75k compared to a neighbor's $50k than get $125k compared to a neighbor's $150k. They'd willingly give up 50k JUST to make more than someone. (Yes, there's a citation on this, even a /. article on it I believe, but I'm too lazy to look it up. Numbers might be off too, but the theory's the same.)

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505671)

That would also be fraud - the public participated under the false knowledge that they had a chance of winning.

Re:The problem with bribery (5, Informative)

AlecC (512609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503943)

Reading TFA, it looks as if she didn't sell the password, she gave it away to be helpful, and the contractor only later gave her the $2000 (and gift cards) as a present. I.e. she didn't realise what she was doing, that the password she gave him permitted him, basically, to authorise any bill he chose to submit. So she is primarily guilty of total stupidity rather than criminal intent. Maybe, for the good of the species, such stupidity should be treated as even more criminal - but it isn't.

What this makes clear, yet again, is that the human is the weakest point in any system, and any human who has not received positive training in security is a very weak point indeed. Which says that, whatever the physical security, any government database with thousands of users, let alone hundreds of thousands as planned form some, will be subverted, for certain, within months.

Re:The problem with bribery (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504745)

I.e. she didn't realise what she was doing,

I'm shocked, shocked that a girl named Tawanna wouldn't know what a password was good for.

Re:The problem with bribery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504031)

That depends, if the bribe is in cash a sensible person could simply stash the cash in a safety depositbox and simply take out small amounts.

Ofcourse blowing it all on a flashy car, a house and a small Dubai island is going to look suspicious if your income isn't sufficient for these purchases. But I can also imagine many things I could use that wouldn't look suspicious. I could easely live off a billion dollars for the rest of my live simply because I'm not all that attracted to a flashy high society lifestyle.

Most people that have been bribed get caught because they spend it in stupid ways.

Re:The problem with bribery (2, Informative)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504231)

I dunno, I'd be fine with one million. Keep it in a secure location (you can afford a nice fireproof safe with that much) and just use it to augment your current lifestyle. Don't make outlandish purchases. One million in hundreds isn't that large either: http://www.cockeyed.com/inside/million/million.html [cockeyed.com]

That's the rub though: being careful with it. You can't blow it on Rodeo Drive day one. Limit yourself to a grand a month and spread it around. Can probably deposit some in your normal account occassionally. Explaining 1M at once? Problem. Explaining 1M over 20, 30 years? Much easier.

Re:The problem with bribery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504317)

Completely irrational, of course. The result of a population trained to maximize profits rather than their own happiness.

Re:The problem with bribery (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504535)

"ok, how do you plan on explaining how you suddenly got a billion dollars?"

Rich uncle in Nigeria.

Re:The problem with bribery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504925)

If I had a billion dollars, I wouldn't have to explain how I got it.

Nice SEO slander (4, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503637)

If TFA isn't a Troll I'll eat my shorts.

What's the best way to SEO slander someone.... without getting hit by a lawsuit? Just put them in the same article with a dubious individual - make a virtual connection even if no real connection exist... then people will start discussing them together and voila - they must be close friends!

Shameless and disgusting.

What's worse is that the reference to Kundra was obviously added after the story was initially posted on the linked site... that text with Kundra's name isn't even in a p tag, it appears styled differently in the rendered version as well, almost like an editor went in and added it after the author had published - "Hmm we need more hits on this story, let's put Kundra's name in it... that will get hits".

Re:Nice SEO slander (2, Interesting)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503733)

FTFA: "Until recently, the technology office was headed by Vivek Kundra, who has taken a job as President Obama's chief information officer. A White House official confirmed last night that Kundra has taken a leave of absence. "

Sounds like the former CTO might have more bones in his closet related to this thing than has yet been acknowledged. Why else take a leave of absence because a former employee did something shady?

How can so much have been going on (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504303)

that he didn't even begin to get hints? Was he that detached from the rest of the office to not notice things, let alone review processes and such in place. I figure that if I were there that where the money went would have been an important consideration.

I don't find it a slander to include him in the article, it raises the question of, what did he know or why didn't he show more attention to what was going on around him. His position certainly warranted it.

Then again, its DC. The real reason he gets his name in the mud is many other high profile appointees were dirty but kept.

Re:Nice SEO slander (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504599)

Odd that no other major news reports are mentioning this "leave of absence". Smells like libel?

Re:Nice SEO slander (3, Informative)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505589)

OK, figured it out. He took a five-day leave of absence when the story first broke in March. Old news.

Re:Nice SEO slander (2, Insightful)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503825)

It's a fact in public life that if the people around you are dirty, some of that dirt will rub off on you, whether or not you are involved.

Once the public's trust is broken, it's very hard to earn it back.

Re:Nice SEO slander (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505355)

This is D.C., which re-elected Mayor Marion Barry after he served six years in prison for getting caught smoking crack with his mistress.

Re:Nice SEO slander (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503897)

yea...why stop. We could also just say "President OBAMA's trusted Federal CIO Vivek Kundra former office staffed with people he worked close with are being prosecuted....."

guilt by association is sometimes true and sometimes not but those who do so without OTHER evidence to back it up are sleezy

Re:Nice SEO slander (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504195)

Obama was surely pallin' around with Tawanna Sellmon for years. What could be more obvious? Excuse me, I gotta go. Rush is on.

Re:Nice SEO slander (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504563)

"make a virtual connection even if no real connection exist..."

So the fact that she worked FOR him isn't a "real" connection? Most of the time, when an employee gets caught doing something that damages the organization, the first person they go to is the supervisor, either to see if he was in on it or to at least ask "How did you let this happen."

You seem to be saying that the normal rules of reporting don't apply, because he is associated with Obama.

Let's treat this (3, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503679)

as if it were what it is: treason. This, cheaply bought bureaucrat, has sold her nation down the tubes for a pittance. Sushil Bansal, the owner of Advanced Integrated Technologies, made millions. Execute all three. Especially Advanced Integrated Technologies; it's high time for corporate death penalties that leave shareholders with worthless paper. Then we may see some responsibility at the top - not just profits.

I'm for stoning them at the base of the Washington Monument.

Re:Let's treat this (2, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503787)

actually, she just sold the District of Columbia's tubes for a pittance. my only regret is that she didn't sell the entire city.

Re:Let's treat this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503821)

Sushil Bansal : Indian.
Vivek Kundra : Indian.

Is there some hurry-curry dealing going on? You can decide for yourself.

Re:Let's treat this (2, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503867)

The executives should go to jail, and the company should pay compensation (hurting shareholders out of necessity), but the shareholders themselves (retirement funds and the like) had nothing to do with the decision.

Re:Let's treat this (2, Interesting)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504439)

but the shareholders themselves (retirement funds and the like) had nothing to do with the decision.

Bullshit. That is the copout that corporations have been using forever but there are two major and fatal problems with it: 1) shareholders choose to invest in companies and 2) they have (with any brains) the voting shares, and thus the ability to change the board of directors and with it the CEO.

So no dice. Whining that "We didn't know that our money invested in the 'White Phosphorus Bombs R Us' will actually hurt anyone! We just looked for the 200% return!" is scoring the unscrupulous assholes no points.

Also, the stock market is a gambling casino for those with more money then brains (now more so then ever before, where company earnings or dividends have no bearing whatsoever on share price). Retirement money does not belong there.

Re:Let's treat this (2, Insightful)

radish (98371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504829)

There's a difference between investing in companies which publically take part in activities you personally don't agree with (such as weapons manufacture) and investing in outwardly innocent companies which are secretly breaking the law. Of course, once the illegal activity is revealed, what you do next as a shareholder is squarely on your head/conscience.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505757)

What about the bank shareholders? 94 have gone under so far this year and - aside from mutual fund investors, let the shareholders enjoy the invisible hand taking their money...

Re:Let's treat this (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505797)

outwardly innocent companies which are secretly breaking the law.

This is where the whole silly "free market" ideology falls apart. In the supposed "efficient free market" you are expected to have only "informed buyers" making rational purchases. So either you should have shareholders buying shares of companies of whose activities they are fully aware of (as in having thoroughly investigated them) or you have a "market" composed of con artists and marks. If you are incapable, or unwilling, to obtain a complete picture of what you are buying, then you are culpable for all of the results of your purchase, according to the ideologues.

Of course it is clearly impossible to be aware of all aspects of one's purchase with most modern products, shares of secretive companies in particular, and so any pretense of "free market" ever being possible is just idiot ideologues talking. And thus the whole particular idea of "shares" or "stock market" is horribly flawed in its inception, resulting in a glorified gambling casino where not only the value of "shares" of companies but also the real-world outcomes of the activities of those companies are utterly random. Which is the very reason for "ordinary people" not to "invest" in the crooked thing in the first place.

All those who participate are culpable by definition, for having chosen to actively support something over which they have no control.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505389)

White Phosphorus Bombs R Us

Thanks for the solid logic, Captain Straw Man.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505799)

How about corrupt politicians? No straw man there - try googling Duke Cunningham. That worthless pos is drawing his congressional retirement in jail!

I say: drop a concrete bucket on that whiny wimp and make him a man of the earth...

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505721)

Agreed.

Re:Let's treat this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504689)

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504889)

This is the DC city government - you can only commit treason against a nation. I won't disagree that the penalties for corporate misfeasance and malfeasance should be higher, but don't try to apply laws where they patently don't apply.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505425)

(1) I'm an attorney; and,
(2) The District of Columbia is a Federal Enclave; and,
(3) The passing along of the password to the owners of the company could easily be a pathway out to enemies of the state under the provisions of Patriot Act I; and,
(4) I'm sick and tired of corrupt politicians/bureaucrats and would gladly eliminate the death penalty for all but that class (remember, it was Mark Twain who said that the US had no native criminal class, but politicians.); and,
(5) Yes, treason is overreaching - but it got your attention; and,
(6) As J.J. Cale said, "You'd be amazed at the things that you can buy with small change."

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505435)

Oh, yeah - love the WKRP quote!

Re:Let's treat this (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505165)

as if it were what it is: treason.

The Constitution defines treason. And this isn't it, much as you'd like it to be.

Re:Let's treat this (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505485)

Article 3, Sec. 3 U.S> Constitution
Treason

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

As I posted earlier, the password could easily have been passed to an enemy of the state and under Patriot Act I that's Aid to the Enemy in the "war on Terr" - and, don't forget that the District is a Federal Enclave. Yes, treason is overreaching, but the case can be made that it applies.

Leveraging the Clound (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503685)

Puts a whole new meaning into "leveraging the cloud"

A proper caning (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503687)

A proper caning followed by some time is in order here. A little corporal punishment could go a long way. It may push the risk/reward ratio for petty shit like this up a bit.

Re:A proper caning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29503791)

Make it public, too - add some humiliation into the mix.

How do people rationalize bribery? (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29503813)

Is there a common theme for the rationalizations of mostly-law-abiding people who accept bribes?

The government is so big that it won't matter to them? They tax me so much, they owe this to me? Everyone else does it, so I'm a chump if I'm honest?

Re:How do people rationalize bribery? (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504335)

Like it or not, money is pretty much _everything_ in this world. You need it to simply live. You need even more of it to live somewhat comfortably. You need even more of it to get decent health care. You need a bunch more to hold a job in most places as you'll need transportation. After you make some you'll want to make more so you can retire some day. All the while, most people enjoy consuming "stuff". Clothes, games, pictures, movies, etc, etc. All that takes even more money.

My Point? Basically, put a person in the position of making what appears to be quick easy money and they will probably be tempted if not fully accepting.

It's not even greed as much as it is a simple need to hoard cash. One day, you _will_ need that cash and turning down an easy sum of it is, to most people, stupid.

Although, in the case of doing something that will easily get you a jail sentence for what amounts to a week or two of pay, is stupid.

But we all need money and if someone offers you some and you weigh out the potential risks.. Hell, if it looks good, who needs rationalization. It's money and you accept the risk of taking it.

Re:How do people rationalize bribery? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#29505759)

You're not directly stealing from someone (psychologically/morally easier than stealing, which is the other criminal way to get money) and the money is right under your nose (practically easier than stealing).

Proof Positive that Social Engineering Is Easier (5, Interesting)

Syncerus (213609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504125)

This article is an ideal example of a social engineering crack. Consider the comparative difficulty of a technical cracking job and compare it to the simplicity and cheapness of what actually took place. The solution was actually quite elegant in a sordid way.

I once worked for a company that was experiencing a surge of highly organized fraud originating from Romania. Before I left, we were preparing to develop a major anti-fraud application, etc., at great expense. At one meeting I suggested that we just hire a few Romanian private detectives to knock on some doors and quietly suggest to the lowlifes that it would be healthier to leave us alone; the other people in the meeting looked at me as though I were green.

LOL.

Re:Proof Positive that Social Engineering Is Easie (1)

RawsonDR (1029682) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504417)

While I appreciate the simplicity and potential effectiveness of your solution, I can't say I blame the suits for not jumping aboard. They wanted a solution rather than a band-aid.

They have to think about what the cost will be the next time the same loophole is used, by different people (maybe more anonymous ones).

Social Engineering (5, Insightful)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504399)

No manner of technology can defeat good, social engineering. An intelligent attack is made upon the weakest link in the system. In this case, an unscrupulous user with privileges.

Which is better? Govt or Private handling? (1, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 5 years ago | (#29504585)

This is what happens when a fed gets caught doing something that seriously compromises security. They get fired, prosecuted, and punished. We can argue about the degree of punishment later.

What happens in private industry? I'm sure people get fired but do they get publicly prosecuted? Or is there a huge motivation to cover up the story so that stock prices/reputation/business in general doesn't take a hit?

Say what you will about government corruption and incompetence but I firmly believe that U.S. federal employees who exhibit this level of stupidity and/or corruption are distinctly more likely to be punished appropriately than are the employees of non-government business entities.

It's a mistake to think that the government is always wrong, always incompetent, and always crooked. It happens too often but such is not the default state of the government. I like seeing cases like this that show the government will catch and prosecute wrong-doers from among its own ranks.

Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29504597)

The rest of democracy is safe.

Unless otherwise proven, all other Government departments are free of all fraud.

No OTP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29505079)

Really? No OTP like SecurID? All the online brokerages offers it for free.

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