Hawaii Woman Pleads Guilty to Mishandling Classified National Defense Information

A Honolulu woman pleaded guilty on July 20 to knowingly removing and retaining classified national defense information from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. Asia Janay Lavarello, 31, admitted to removing documents classified at the secret level from the U.S. Embassy in Manila in March last year, according to a press release from the Department of Justice. Lavarello had access to classified computers and documents during a temporary assignment at the embassy. On March 20, 2020, she removed documents from the embassy and took them to her hotel room where she hosted a party the same evening. Two foreign nationals attended the gathering, according to the DOJ. A coworker discovered the documents and Lavarello was later fired from her temporary assignment in the Philippines over the matter. Lavarello returned to Hawaii on March 28, 2020. In June 2020, investigators searched Lavarello’s government workplace and found a notebook with notes that …

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