LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – A former La Shish restaurant chain waitress became an FBI agent and a CIA employee who pleaded guilty Tuesday to using her database access privileges to search for information on relatives suspected of having ties to a reputed terrorist group, and who fraudulently obtained U.S. citizenship.
In federal court in Detroit, Lebanese national Nada Nadim Prouty, 37, pleaded guilty to secretly obtaining information about FBI national security investigations, which she is suspected of passing on to relatives suspected of having ties to Hezbollah, a group that the U.S. government has classified as a foreign terrorist organization.
The announcement was made today by Stephen J. Murphy, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan; Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Willie T. Hulon, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch; Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and Kurt Rice, Chicago Field Office Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.
At a hearing in Detroit before the U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn, Prouty entered a plea of guilty to counts one, two and three of a second superseding information. Count one of the information charges conspiracy, for which the maximum penalty is five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Count two charges unauthorized computer access, for which the maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. Count three charges naturalization fraud, for which the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and requires the court to de-naturalize the defendant.
“This case highlights the importance of conducting stringent and thorough background investigations,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy. “It’s hard to imagine a greater threat than the situation where a foreign national uses fraud to attain citizenship and then, based on that fraud insinuates herself into a sensitive position in the U.S. government. I applaud the excellent investigative work of the FBI, ICE and DHS, which led to the successful prosecution today.”