NEW YORK (AP) — Court papers filed in New York City say the State Department has uncovered a potential security breach in Yemen involving a corrupt U.S. embassy employee.

A criminal complaint says the employee took under-the-table payments to submit at least 50 visa applications that falsely claimed the Yemeni applicants wanted to travel to Houston for an oil industry conference. The case was first reported Monday by the New York Daily News.

Yemen is home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. It's seen by the United States as one of the most dangerous offshoots of the global terrorist organization because it has been linked to several failed attacks on the U.S. homeland.

A State Department spokesman in Washington said he was aware of the report but declined to comment further.