Friday, February 27, 2009

Florida Professor & Wife Bilk NASA, Others Out Of Millions, Prosecutors Say

Samim S. Anghaie, 59, and a professor at the University of Florida, along with his wife, Sousan F. Anghaie, 54, both of Gainesville, Florida, are alleged to have bilked NASA and other government agencies out of as much as $3.4 million in fraudulently obtained contracts. Samim Anghaie is the founder of UofF's Innovative Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Institute which obtained funding from various government agencies, including NASA. Prosecutors allege that the Anghaie's set up a company, New Era Technology or NETECH, with Sousan Anghaie as its president. While neither has been arrested or charged yet, their home and offices were raided by the FBI. According to court documents, NETECH submitted fraudulent proposals and since 1999 obtained $3.4 million in contracts with NASA, the Air Force and the Department of Energy. The filing also alleged that some of these funds were transferred to the couple's sons, Ali Anghaie and Hamid Anghaie. The misappropriated funds allegedly went to support a lavish lifestyle and to purchase real estate, luxury vehicles and other personal items. Samim has been placed on administrative leave with pay by the university. The government filed a motion seeking to seize six cars, six pieces of real estate in Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, and Tampa, Florida and Manchester, Connecticut, along with several bank accounts.

Read the story here, here and here.
Update (2/26/11): Samim Anghaie, now 61, and his wife, Sousan Anghaie, now 56, were convicted by a federal jury on charges they defrauded the government out of more than $3 million. Samim was convicted on 28 counts of conspiracy and wire fraud; Sousan was convicted on 26 similar counts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Things like this fly under the NASA radar so much so that its expected. This NASA situation reminds me of the scene from The King of Comedy, where Robert DeNiro is doing standup and recounting how beating him up became so common place in elementary school they worked it into the curriculum. And he says to one kid who refuses to hit him, "come on don't you wanna graduate"? The NASA OIG is mainly a figurehead position intended to convey the notion that somewhere, someplace, accountability for wrongdoing exists, but that's about it. You'll soon find him or her shifting to a lobbyist position with a military defense contractor. These people don't think twice about wrongdoing. Come on, don't you wanna graduate?