GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Federal prosecutors want to seize this 6,790-square-foot Haiku estate of Noshir S. Gowadia, who is accused of illegally selling B-2 bomber secrets to foreign governments.
Feds target B-2 engineer's $1.8 million Maui home
Federal prosecutors want to seize the $1.8 million home of a Maui man who helped engineer the B-2 stealth bomber and is accused of selling its secrets to foreign governments.
In a forfeiture complaint filed in U.S. District Court yesterday, prosecutors said Noshir S. Gowadia built his four-bedroom, 6,790-square-foot home in Haiku with the hundreds of thousands of dollars he allegedly made selling classified information on the B-2 to representatives of at least eight unspecified countries.
From 1999 to 2004, they said, Gowadia funneled more than $660,000 from offshore bank accounts to buy land in Maui and build his home.
The funds were wired to Gowadia's personal or business accounts in the islands or Hawaii construction, finance and furnishing companies.
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo declined to comment yesterday on the complaint, citing the ongoing investigation.
Gowadia, who worked to build the stealth as a design engineer at Northrop Corp. from 1968 to 1986, was charged on Oct. 26 under federal espionage statutes with one count of willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it. The 61-year-old faces 10 years behind bars if convicted and remains in federal custody after being denied bail on Oct. 29.
According to court documents, Gowadia allegedly billed himself to foreign governments as the "father" of the technology that helps protects the stealth from heat-seeking missiles. He told the FBI on Oct. 14 that he sold classified information on the stealth's "infrared-suppression" technology to help other countries "further their self aircraft protection systems."
"I knew it was wrong," Gowadia also told the FBI, in a written statement. "I did it for the money."
FBI officials said agents searched Gowadia's Haiku home on Oct. 13, finding several classified documents from the engineer's days at Northrop and from when he was a contract engineer in the 1990s at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Gowadia's wife, Cheryl, declined to comment yesterday from the couple's Maui home.
Their oldest son, Ashton, has said that Gowadia is innocent.
In May 1999, Gowadia paid $330,000 for the two-acre parcel at 575 North Holokai Place, where he lived with his wife.
Maui property records show his home, which has a blue-tile roof and white stucco walls, was completed in 2002. The home's assessed value is $1.4 million, while the land is worth $463,500.
In the complaint filed yesterday, prosecutors said Gowadia earned "considerable income" from his alleged dealings with foreign countries, which was paid to offshore corporations headed by the engineer.