Prosecutors: Illegal immigrant worked for FBI, CIA, stole info

Woman was sister-in-law of fugitive La Shish restaurant owner, stole info on investigation

The woman, Nada Nadim Prouty, 37, of Vienna, Va., also tapped into a sensitive FBI computer to find out what federal investigators knew about her, La Shish restaurant owner Talal Chahine, and her sister, who is married to Chahine.

Prosecutors said she took an unknown quantity of classified information home with her. It’s unclear what happened, or what she did with the information, prosecutors said.

The information pertained to a federal investigation of Chahine and his possible involvement with Hizballah, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S State Department.

In 2002, Chahine and his wife, Elfat El Aouar, attended a fundraising event in Lebanon, where the keynote speakers were Hizballah leaders.

Prouty pleaded guilty to conspiracy, unauthorized computer access and naturalization fraud during a 30-minute hearing before U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn. The most serious charge, naturalization fraud, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Under the terms of a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Prouty would face a prison sentence of 6-12 months, be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and be ordered deported. Prouty hired an unemployed U.S. citizen to marry her in 1990, a year after she entered the country and overstayed her student visa.

However, prosecutors said she won’t be allowed to leave the U.S. because she used to work for the FBI and CIA and has access to sensitive information vital to homeland security.

It remained unclear why background checks the FBI and CIA conducted before hiring her didn’t reveal her illegal immigration status. Also unclear is why the forerunner agency to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t find out about the marriage fraud.

Court documents said Chahine, who fled to Lebanon in 2005 to avoid tax-evasion charges, vouched for the legitimacy of her marriage.


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