A Mauri, Hawaii-based man has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for passing on classified national defense information to China, besides committing other offenses such as money laundering and filing false tax returns.
According to the evidence produced during trial, Noshir S. Gowadia, 66, worked as an engineer for Northrop Grumman Corporation from approximately 1968 to 1986, during which time he contributed to the development of the unique propulsion system and low observable capabilities of the B-2 Spirit bomber, sometimes referred to as the Stealth bomber. Gowadia also continued to work on classified matters as a contractor with the with the U.S. government until 1997, when his security clearance was terminated.
Evidence at the trial also revealed that from July 2003 to June 2005, Gowadia took six trips to the PRC to provide defense services in the form of design, test support and test data analysis of technologies for the purpose of assisting the PRC with a cruise missile system by developing a stealthy exhaust nozzle.
The prosecution also produced evidence that Gowadia had received money for transferring defense secrets and used three foreign entities, including a charity in Liechtenstein to hide, launder and disguise his ill-gotten gains. At the time of his arrest, Gowadia had been paid at least $110,000 by the PRC, it was established.
Moreover, Gowadia had under-reported his income to the IRS and had falsely denied having control over foreign bank accounts for the two tax years involved in his convictions.
Evidence was also presented that Gowadia did not pay any income tax from at least 1997 until 2005 when he was arrested.
The case was investigated jointly by the FBI, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.
On Aug. 9, 2010, Gowadia was found guilty by a federal jury of five criminal offenses relating to his design for the PRC of a low-signature cruise missile exhaust system capable of rendering a PRC cruise missile resistant to detection by infrared missiles.
The jury also convicted Gowadia in three counts of illegally communicating classified information regarding lock-on range for infrared missiles against the U.S. B-2 bomber to persons not authorized to receive such information. The B-2 bomber is one of America's most critical defense assets, capable of utilizing its stealth characteristics to penetrate enemy airspace and deliver precision guided weapons on multiple targets.
Gowadia was also convicted of unlawfully exporting classified information about the B-2, illegally retaining information related to U.S. national defense at his home, money laundering and filing false tax returns for the years 2001 and 2002.
Along with our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities, the FBI will continue to pursue anyone who attempts to sell America's national security secrets for personal gain. The safety of the American people remains our highest priority, and we will use every tool at our disposal to find, stop, and prosecute anyone engaging in espionage, said FBI Special Agent Frank Montoya in a statement.
According to Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris, Gowadia's prosecution should serve as a warning to others who would compromise our nation's military secrets for profit.
The sentence was handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway in the District of Hawaii.
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