A federal jury convicted a former Assistant Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) yesterday for engaging in a scheme to conceal his financial indebtedness to a personal friend and government contractor to whom he steered tens of millions of dollars in government business.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Eghbal “Eddie” Saffarinia, 62, of Alexandria, Virginia, engaged in a scheme to conceal material facts, including the nature and extent of his financial relationship with a personal friend who was the owner and chief executive officer of an information technology company. During a period in which Saffarinia received payments and loans from his friend totaling $80,000, Saffarinia disclosed confidential internal government information to his friend and undertook efforts to steer government contracts and provide competitive advantages and preferential treatment to his friend’s company. Saffarinia also failed to disclose this financial relationship and another large promissory note on his public financial disclosure forms.
Saffarinia was convicted of one count of concealing material facts, three counts of making false statements, and three counts of falsifying a record or document. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 19 and faces a maximum penalty of 80 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono of the FBI Washington Field Office; and Inspector General Thomas A. Monheim of the Intelligence Community made the announcement.
The FBI Washington Field Office and the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community investigated the case.
Senior Litigation Counsel Edward P. Sullivan and Trial Attorneys Rosaleen T. O’Gara and John P. Taddei of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.