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Ex-IEC chief Nuristani put under house arrest in US

Ex-IEC chief Nuristani put under house arrest in US

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3 Sep 2020 - 11:13
Ex-IEC chief Nuristani put under house arrest in US
author avatar
3 Sep 2020 - 11:13

KABUL) chief Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani has been sentenced to three years of probation and six months of home confinement in the United States.

In a statement, the Special Inspector General For Afghanistan declared that Nuristan had pleaded guilty on December 11, 2019 to theft of public money.

The former poll panel head acknowledge receiving more than $100,000 in government benefits by concealing foreign travel and residency between July 2015 and December 2018.

Nuristani admitted to applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration in July 2015. He also confessed to knowing that an SSI recipient must reside within the US and that he was required to report any travel outside the United States lasting more than 30 days.

In violation of these requirements, Nuristani admitted to concealing and repeatedly lying to the Social Security Administration about his foreign travel and residency.

Nuristani also admitted to receiving $27,492.44 in SSI payments and to causing a loss of $73,090.34 to the state of California for healthcare payments and services as a result of his fraud.

Prior to sentencing in US District Court in San Diego, he made full restitution to the Social Security Administration and the California Department of Health Care Services.

Nuristani, 71, a former Fulbright Scholar, previously served as governor of Herat and chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan during the last presidential election.

In September 2018, President Ashraf Ghani appointed Nuristani to the Meshrano Jirga. He received SSI at his claimed residence in El Cajon, California, while serving as head of the Independent Election Commission and as an Afghan senator.

Special Inspector General Sopko said: “Make no mistake, no one is above the law in Afghanistan or the United States, no matter how prominent or powerful they may be. Our work in this case demonstrates that SIGAR and its partner agencies are fully committed to this principle. Just because someone can get away with criminality in Afghanistan, he or she should not think the same applies here in the US.”

This case was brought through the Travel and Residency Enforcement Co-Op (TREC), a pilot project of the Social Security Administration, its Office of Inspector General, the California Department of Health Care Services Investigations Division and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.

Special Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Hill led the prosecution. Special agents with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) assisted with this investigation.


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