Maui engineer faces more federal charges
Noshir Gowadia allegedly used military data to help China
A 62-year-old Maui engineer who worked on the B-2 stealth bomber has been charged with using secret military information to help China build a stealth cruise missile.
A federal grand jury upgraded a former indictment against Noshir S. Gowadia, originally charged with selling information involving the B-2 aircraft to three unnamed countries, and has charged him with assisting China with designing and testing an exhaust system nozzle that protects a cruise missile from detection.
The 18-count superseding indictment issued yesterday also charges Gowadia with sharing secret military information with representatives of China to benefit China or harm the United States.
"As charged in the superseding indictment, the defendant in this case attempted to profit from his know-how and his knowledge of sensitive military technology," Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for the national security division, said in a press release.
"This case demonstrates that the Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who illegally transfer such information and services to foreign countries," Wainstein said.
Gowadia could face the death penalty under the new charges. There is also the possibility of life in prison and a fine of $250,000 or double the gain for his violation.
The indictment describes six trips to China by Gowadia to discuss, design and test the stealth cruise missile, along with secret e-mails with a representative of China's "Foreign Experts Bureau."
Gowadia is also charged with unauthorized retention and possession of classified military information and four counts of laundering the money he was paid for his work with China.
The government said in a news release that it intends to acquire Gowadia's property, which helped in the espionage violations or which he bought with the money from the alleged money laundering.
Gowadia, a naturalized U.S. citizen from India, worked 18 years for Northrop Corp., where he was an engineer and designed the B-2 stealth bomber's propulsion system.
In an earlier indictment from November 2005, Gowadia was charged with three counts of sharing secret military information with people unauthorized to receive it and three counts of sending technical data to a foreign military without a proper license.
The six counts from the original indictment were retained in the superseding indictment.
Gowadia has been in federal custody since his Oct. 26, 2005, arrest.
The newest indictment charges Gowadia with secretly planning to violate the Arms Export Control Act by entering an illegal agreement to design and test the cruise missile nozzle.
The indictment also charges Gowadia with performing a defense service for the Chinese government without obtaining approval from the U.S. Department of State.
The FBI, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement are participating in the investigation of the case.