Stealth expert guilty of selling secrets to China

Aug 10th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

A former B-2 bomber engineer who marketed and sold his stealth expertise to China is facing life in a federal prison following his conviction for bartering U.S. military secrets.

Noshir Gowadia, 66, was found guilty Monday on charges that he designed a cruise missile component for China and pocketed at least $110,000, which he allegedly used to help pay a $15,000-a-month mortgage on a multimillion-dollar oceanview home he built on Maui’s north shore.

Prosecutors said Gowadia revealed classified information to foreign powers at least twice: during a PowerPoint presentation on his cruise missile technology, and when he showed the technology’s effectiveness by comparing it to American air-to-air missiles.

“This case was unique in that we litigated know-how, the very concept of exporting your knowledge base that you derive, in whole or in part, from your activities working in United States classified programs,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson said. “If you can take that and go sell it or market yourself on an international stage in secrecy to other governments and not suffer criminal sanctions for it, then we’re in trouble.”

Gowadia’s defense attorneys argued during the nearly four-month trial that while it’s true he gave China the design for the cruise missile part, he based his work on unclassified, publicly available information. Gowadia plans to appeal.

“Mr. Gowadia is obviously disappointed with the verdict. He felt that he hadn’t committed a crime,” said his attorney, Birney Bervar.

Gowadia, who has been in federal custody since October 2005, was convicted on 14 of 17 counts, including conspiracy, violating the arms export control act, tax evasion and money laundering. He was acquitted on charges of knowingly communicating national defense information. He will be sentenced in November.

The decision came after more than six days of deliberations at a federal court in Honolulu.

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