Two Men Charged in Stealing Government Documents

SANTA ANA—An Orange County, Calif. man and a Department of Defense contract worker from Florida were arrested May 12 on charges of theft of government property, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office identified them as Marc Chavez, 53, of Trabuco Canyon, and defense department contractor employee Sarfraz Yousuf, 43, of Miramar, Florida.

The investigation of the two stems from a probe of a Navy employee’s sale of technical drawings under the control of the federal government to Newport Beach-based Newport Aeronautical Sales Corp., prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege that Newport Aeronautical Sales illegally acquired Air Force technical orders, but the company has not been charged.

Chavez allegedly obtained Air Force technical orders from Yousuf for LTC Products, a Trabuco Canyon-based company that sells technical aerospace data, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors allege that Chavez acquired at least 1,875 Air Force technical orders from Yousuf for $132,280 between January 2015 and July of last year, including 34 orders last June alone, which Chavez allegedly turned around and sold for a profit. The two were not authorized to sell or buy the information, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege one of the orders Yousuf sold to Chavez included information that if released would “jeopardize an important technological or operational military advantage of the United States.”

A Navy engineer pleaded guilty in December to one count each of conspiracy to steal government property and aiding and abetting the theft of government property and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18 in federal court in Santa Ana, prosecutors said.

Mark Fitting, 54, of Berlin, New Jersey, admitted in a plea deal that he sold technical drawings and manuals of military weapons systems to Newport Aeronautical Sales Corp., which turned around and resold the information, prosecutors said.

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