Embassy Worker In Baghdad Convicted Of $250K Theft

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A Jordanian citizen hired by the State Department to work at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has been convicted of stealing nearly $250,000 in U.S. government funds.

Thirty-six-year-old Osama Ayesh was indicted in federal court in Alexandria, Va., in October for two counts of theft and a conflict of interest charge. On Wednesday, a jury convicted Ayesh on all three charges. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years for each theft count and five years in prison for the conflict of interest charge when he is sentenced in April, the Justice Department said.

Ayesh had been a shipping and customs supervisor at the embassy when investigators received a tip from an Iraqi businessman that Ayesh had been embezzling funds.

Ayesh caused about $237,000 in taxpayer money to be sent to a Jordanian bank account he controlled between 2008 and June 2010.