Former professor charged with sending equipment to Iran

Sep 14, 2021, 5:49 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm

MIAMI (AP) — A former University of Miami professor, his wife and his sister are facing federal charges related to purchasing genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers and illegally shipping it to Iran, prosecutors said.

Mohammad Faghihi, 52, his wife Farzeneh Modarresi, 53, and his sister Faezeh Faghihi, 50, made their initial appearances Tuesday in Miami federal court, according to court records. All three are charged with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States and conspiring to commit money laundering, as well as several other charges.

The family operated a Florida company called Express Gene. According to a criminal complaint, Express Gene received numerous wire transfers from accounts in Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates totaling almost $3.5 million between October 2016 and November 2020. Some of that money was used to purchase genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers to ship it to Iran without a license, despite sanctions on Iran, investigators said.

In February, Mohammad Faghihi arrived at Miami International Airport from Iran and lied to Customs and Border Protection officers, prosecutors said. Faghihi told them that he didn’t practice his profession or conduct any type of research in Iran. But officials said Faghihi was the director of a laboratory within Shiraz University of Medical Science in Iran bearing his name: Dr. Faghihi’s Medical Genetic Center. During a search of Faghihi’s luggage, CBP officers reported finding 17 vials of unknown biological substances covered with ice packs and concealed beneath bread and other food.

Faghihi was an assistant professor in UM’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences from 2013 to 2020. During that time, he was the principal investigator on several National Institute of Health grants. Officials say Express Gene and Faghihi received large deposits from international wires during this period, and Faghihi failed to make the required disclosures to the university or NIH.

Online court records didn’t list attorneys for Faghihi or his family.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

PARIS (AP) — The spokesperson for France’s Defense Ministry used Twitter to offer a rob...
Associated Press

Defense official defends French submarine-making capability

PARIS (AP) — The spokesperson for France’s Defense Ministry used Twitter to offer a robust defense of the country’s submarine-making capabilities and to criticize Australia’s decision to choose the United States as a partner in a major defense deal. Defense Ministry spokesman Herve Grandjean devoted a series of tweets to tearing into the deal, which […]
8 hours ago
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U...
Associated Press

The Latest: Biden pledges to work with allies in UN address

The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly: ___ President Joe Biden is delivering his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. Biden opened by addressing the challenge and loss facing the world from COVID-19 and he appealed to delegates to address climate change. Biden is delivering the speech at a difficult time in his […]
8 hours ago
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A shooter opened fire in the drive-thru area of a Wendy’s...
Associated Press

3 dead in shooting outside Florida Wendy’s restaurant

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A shooter opened fire in the drive-thru area of a Wendy’s restaurant early Tuesday in suburban Fort Lauderdale, killing three people before fleeing, police said. Hallandale Beach police have released few details, but said the victims were not restaurant employees. No names were immediately released. Witnesses said they heard about […]
8 hours ago
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former probation officer has been found guilty for her role in the kidna...
Associated Press

Ex-probation officer convicted in real estate agent killing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former probation officer has been found guilty for her role in the kidnapping and killing of a Minneapolis real estate agent. Jurors in Hennepin County on Monday found 29-year-old Elsa Segura guilty of luring Monique Baugh to a bogus home showing in Maple Grove on Dec. 31, 2019, and aiding in […]
8 hours ago
TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Police are searching for a woman after beachgoers at a Georgia beach...
Associated Press

Police: Woman wanted after report of puppy thrown into ocean

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (AP) — Police are searching for a woman after beachgoers at a Georgia beach reported that an injured puppy was being thrown into the ocean earlier this month. Tybee Island police officers encountered the dog’s owner Sept. 12 and retrieved the puppy, the agency said in a statement. Police say she told […]
8 hours ago
FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans speaks at the Global Citiz...
Associated Press

Global Citizen’s Hugh Evans hoping music can mobilize world

Hugh Evans started his fight against extreme poverty by mobilizing his friends when he was growing up in Australia. On Saturday, Evans will try to mobilize the world to tackle poverty and COVID-19 with Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour live concert featuring The Weekend, BTS, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, H.E.R. and dozens […]
8 hours ago
Former professor charged with sending equipment to Iran