Maui man indicted over B-2 technology
Noshir Gowadia's family says that the charges are a terrible misunderstanding
A FEDERAL grand jury indicted a 61-year-old Maui man who helped design the B-2 stealth bomber on charges of selling classified technical data to foreign countries from 2002 to 2004.
Noshir S. Gowadia, an engineer from 1968 to 1986 with defense contractor Northrop Corp., faces a maximum 60 years' imprisonment and fines of up to $1.5 million.
Gowadia was indicted yesterday on three counts of communication, delivery and transmission of national defense information and three counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act.
The indictment does not identify the three foreign countries to which he allegedly transmitted the information, but ABC News reported last week that he is accused of selling military secrets to China.
While at Northrop, Gowadia helped develop an infrared suppression system for the propulsion system of the B-2 Spirit bomber, a then-classified program.
Gowadia, a naturalized citizen from India, was arrested and charged Oct. 26 under federal espionage statutes. He is being held in federal custody and was denied bail.
FBI officials said he allegedly signed a confession acknowledging selling B-2 secrets to eight other countries.
However, Gowadia's family said in a written statement, "The charges contained in the indictment are based upon a terrible misunderstanding concerning professor Gowadia's consulting work with allies of the United States."
The statement said Gowadia had cooperated with the FBI for nine days before his arrest and "sought to answer all questions regarding an immensely complex technology."
The family believes the charges result from "misunderstanding the nature and extent of his consultation on aircraft survivability," the statement said.
Gowadia's attorney, Chris Todd, of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, declined to comment on the case.
During his employment with Northrop, Gowadia entered into signed agreements in which he acknowledged receiving "high classified information" relating to the U.S. government and was aware "its unauthorized disclosure could seriously damage the national security," the indictment said. After he left Northrop's employment, Gowadia worked as a private contractor under the name Noshir S. Gowadia Inc., the indictment said.
The indictment alleges that on Oct. 23, 2002, Gowadia faxed a foreign official in "Country 'A'" a document setting forth a proposal to develop infrared suppression technology for a foreign military aircraft and containing top secret level information concerning a U.S. defense system.
On Nov. 22, Gowadia allegedly e-mailed a foreign business person in "Country 'B'" and attached a PowerPoint presentation of a proposal to develop infrared suppression technology for foreign commercial aircraft, also concerning top secret information, the indictment said.
And on Sept. 6, 2004, Gowadia allegedly sent an e-mail to a foreign business person in "Country 'D'" proposing infrared suppression technology for a foreign commercial aircraft containing top secret information regarding a U.S. defense system.
The indictment also alleges he established, directed and controlled several corporate entities through which he marketed defense services and articles to foreign persons, officials and entities. This was done to obtain, maintain, distribute and hide funds related to his effort to sell classified and protected defense technologies, articles and services, the indictment alleges.
According to the family, Gowadia has worked "with several major American defense contractors, as well as the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy and has consulted with some of our nation's closest allies on aircraft survivability."