Akbar Fard of Tampa was found guilty of defrauding NASA, the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency.
TAMPA — A federal jury found scientist Akbar Fard, 53, formerly of Tampa, guilty of defrauding NASA, the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency out of approximately $2.1 million.
Fard faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. A press release says his sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 24. He was indicted 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, along with the Missile Defense Agency and the Navy. A statement says the NASA programs "support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds." It says Fard used funds to support his lifestyle instead of purchasing research materials.
NASA's Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Palermo prosecuted the case.