A former Pratt & Whitney engineer was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Friday for attempting to deliver what federal prosecutors called “highly sensitive” information about military jet engines to Iran.
Mozaffar Khazaee, 61, formerly of Manchester, was sentenced to 97 months and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant for violating the Arms Export Control Act.
Khazaee was accused of trying to send to Iran proprietary, trade-secret and export-controlled material relating to U.S. military jet engines, which he had stolen from Pratt and other U.S. defense contractors where he had worked. In addition to Pratt, Khazaee had been employed by General Electric and Rolls-Royce.
Bryant, at the urging of federal prosecutors, imposed a sentence that exceeded the 57- to 72-month sentence recommended by the advisory sentencing guidelines used in federal court.
“Violations of the Arms Export Control Act, particularly those involving attempts to transfer sensitive defense technology to a foreign power, are among the most significant national security threats we face, and we will continue to leverage the criminal justice system to prevent, confront, and disrupt them,” said John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.
While living in Connecticut in 2013, prosecutors said, Khazaee tried to send a shipping container to Iran that was packed with thousands of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, test results, technical drawings and data and other proprietary material relating to U.S. military jet engines, including those relating to the U.S. Air Force’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter program and the F-22 Raptor.
Khazaee was arrested in January 2014 while trying to board a flight to Iran at Newark Liberty International Airport. A search of his luggage turned up more protected materials concerning jet engines and $59,945 in cash.
h/t Vdare who writes:
How stupid did Pratt & Whitney have to be to employ an Iranian engineer? Mozaffar Khazaee was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for attempting to carry sensitive material about the engines for the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-22 Raptor as he left for Iran. He was arrested at the Newark International Airport in January 2014.
Khazaee was raised in Iran and entered to this country to attend the University of Oklahoma, later earning a doctorate in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University. Interestingly, Washington doesn’t mind thousands of foreign students from unfriendly nations studying technology and other useful subjects. Literally hundreds of thousands of Chinese from the communist People’s Republic are currently taking valued college slots, along with quite a number of Saudis (thanks to some cheapie social engineering from George W. Bush a decade ago). This year saw a record number of foreign students attending American universities, where the full tuition checks are welcome.
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