Skip to comments.Iranian Engineer Convicted In Ariz
Posted on 05/27/2008 3:54:30 PM PDT by radar101
PHOENIX -- An engineer from Iran was convicted Tuesday of illegally accessing a protected computer in the United States to use software he obtained at a former job at the nation's largest nuclear plant.
Mohammad Reza Alavi, 50, who worked at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station for 17 years, faces up to five years in prison and could be fined up to a $250,000 for his conviction on a count of illegally accessing a computer. A sentencing hearing has not been set.
Alavi was also charged with one count of stealing protected software from the plant and one count of illegally exporting it in violation of the U.S. trade embargo with Iran.
The jury deadlocked on those counts. A second trial has been scheduled Aug. 1 to retry him on the remaining charges. Defense attorney David Laufman said he plans to file a motion asking U.S. District Judge Neil Wake to overturn the guilty verdict.
"The government failed to meet its burden of proof on the main charges in this case," Laufman said.
He said Alavi wasn't taken into custody on Tuesday.
Alavi, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Iran, ran afoul of the law in 2006, prosecutors said. That's when he quit Palo Verde and brought a laptop to Iran containing training software with design schematics and other details of the plant.
His unauthorized use of the software, however, did not contain enough information to pose a security threat, Palo Verde officials have said.
Nevertheless, prosecutors told jurors during a two-week trial that Alavi knew he was breaking federal law when he brought the software to Iran and then downloaded codes to use it in Iran.
"He took it for his own selfish benefit," prosecutor David A. Pimsner told jurors on Tuesday. "He thought it would help him get a job in the nuclear industry in Iran."
Laufman disagreed. He told jurors that Alavi was unaware of the trade restrictions between the two countries.
Alavi was simply proud of his work at Palo Verde. Upon returning home after 30 years in America, Alavi wanted a souvenir, Laufman said.
"He wanted to retain a piece of his life and show it off to his family," he said.
The 12-member jury began deliberating last week. But defense lawyers and prosecutors were called back Tuesday to provide more detail about what Alavi knew about the U.S. trade embargo.
Alavi quit Palo Verde on Aug. 14, 2006. His access to the plant's network was terminated 11 days later. However, when he was in Iran two months later, investigators said Alavi downloaded a registration key from the software maker.
Prosecutors said Alavi likely wanted to use the software to boost his chances for a job in the Iranian nuclear industry. Access to protected American software would have made him especially valuable, they said.
Authorities arrested Alavi more than a year ago in Los Angeles when he arrived on a flight from Iran. Laufman said Alavi had returned to the United States to be present for the birth of his son.
The Palo Verde nuclear plant, located about 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, supplies electricity to some 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.
“He said Alavi wasn’t taken into custody on Tuesday”
Defense lawyers say the strangest things sometimes ...
This is the stuff that really makes me wonder why our guys have to fight and die on foreign soil.
This is not espionage during a time of war?
Why isn't Espionage, and sales of technology to a sworn enemy of the United States part of this trial?
Will somebody please post something positive about Muslims or Islam?
As an aside, where I work, I have not read all of the restrictions on the transfer of sensitive stuff to “outside” companies or countries, but I do nothing with out asking first and I have a pretty good idea which countries are on the blacklist with out asking!
Here ya go:
There is no such thing as moderate Islam or moderate Muslim. These so called moderates are either ignorant of Islam or hypocrites who try to pull the wool over your eyes. Do not listen to them. Do not encourage their deceptive talk. Accept nothing short of the total eradication of Islam. This disease must be wiped out. There cant be a moderate Islam just as there is no such thing as healthy disease or sensible insanity. Islam is extreme. To fight Islamic extremism you have to fight Islam. There is no middle ground. Either you eradicate Islam or Islam will eradicate you. The choice is yours.
Ali Sina is the editor of Faithfreedom.org.
Another Obama relative?
I said post something positive. You’re preaching to the choir. I want to hear something warm and fuzzy and honorable and truthful and charitable — after all I am bombarded with the advice that Islam is the ROP. Will somebody please prove it to me?
best I could do.
He was one P away from being Shah. Now, he’s one pee away from Bubba.
There’s a lesson in this: Never hire anyone with Mohammed in his name. I mean, it should go without saying.
“Will somebody please post something positive about Muslims or Islam?”
They kill themselves on a regular basis? Unfortunately, they often take others with them.
He supposedly kept an immaculate lawn at home and always refilled the coffee maker when he took the last cup at work.
More positive discussion here...
Thanks to Robert Spencer and the OUTSTANDING posters at jihadwatch.
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