Scientist Found Guilty of Defrauding Feds

A federal jury in the Tampa area has found a scientist, and former Tampa resident, guilty of wire fraud.

The jury found Akbar Fard guilty early this week. 

Court records show Fard was indicted on March 22, 2017.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Fard defrauded the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs of NASA, the Missile Defense Agency, and the United States Navy out of approximately $2.1 million. 

Prosecutors say Fard thwarted the fundamental purpose of these programs by using the funds to support his lifestyle instead of purchasing research materials.

Officials say the jury verdict serves as a staunch reminder that such conduct will not be tolerated. 

The NASA Office of Inspector General, for one, said it applauded the efforts of the entire investigative and prosecution team during this multi-year investigation.

This case was investigated by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. 

Fard faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison; his sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 24.


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