F-35 Program: Stolen Secrets and Lockheed’s “Exaggeration”

By: Ashley Olds - January 22, 2014

An employee of one of Lockheed’s suppliers was arrested en route to Iran last week on suspicion of attempting to smuggle secret F-35 Joint Strike Fighter documents there.

Back in November, the investigation initiated when customs officials and homeland security agents said they intercepted a shipment Mozaffar Khazaee was sending to Hamadan, Iran. The 59 year old engineer was said to have claimed that the boxes labeled “Household Goods” only contained personal items. However, an Agent of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, declared in an affidavit that there were “thousands of pages contained in dozens of manuals/binders relating to the JSF program.”

Mozaffar Khazaee, a citizen of both Iran and America, formerly worked for Pratt & Whitney as a military contractor. Court documents indicate he was responsible for carrying out engine part strength tests and officials state the documents he attempted to send included design outlines of the fighter’s jet engine that were labeled as subject to export restrictions.

On January 9, Khazaee was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, after traveling from Indianapolis to Newark. Per a statement by the prosecutors, Tehran was his final destination.

The discovery of this incident might exacerbate the already precarious nuclear deal the U.S. and 5 additional countries have with Iran. As stated by the Fiscal Times, the consequences of the leaked information are that the whole F-35 program will be compromised as well.

This news has come tandem to reports that Lockheed “greatly exaggerated” just how many U.S. jobs were created by the F-35 fighter jet, (the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program).

“The real figure, based on standard estimating procedures used in other studies in the field, should be on the order of 50,000 to 60,000,” the Center for International Policy reported today.

As for Khazaee’s indictment, although he has not been arraigned yet in the case, he is currently being detained in New Jersey before heading to Connecticut where he will face charges. Those charges comprise two counts of transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion or fraud.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ashley Olds

About the Author

Ashley OldsAshley enjoys pretending she knows how to do yoga and living in sweet denial about the worthlessness of her bachelor's degree. Stalk her on Twitter - if you can find her.

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  • Liar

    All of this stuff is lies. Now, if you had stolen all this stuff, would you send manuals in boxes labeled “Household Goods”. If you go down to your post office, it lists all the things you cannot send in the mail. Household Goods is a the top of the list. So I could send a thumb drive in a small package and it will never get noticed. However, I decide to send manuals?

    I think this is all bogus. It doesn’t make sense.

    • pappy

      this is a good example of why OUR borders need to be closed down and please let this country settle down for a few years..arizona and texas had the right idea of illegals but our government doesnt back this and junk like this will happen..sure lets let anyone in and hurt this country even more as the country known as the great melting pot IS MELTING !!if this guy is found guilty,why not the death penalty quickly for spying ?? i know in iran that this is done without hesitation..

      • @pappy

        Illegals aren’t the problem. They are doing all the jobs Americans won’t do. Everyone with an IQ above 50 knows 9/11 was an inside job. The Pentagon was done by a drone. The least of our problems is the illegal alien. The fools in Washington are the problem. The would get us in a world war in a heartbeat if it meant making money. Go look at the Pentagon photos. It is clear that a plane didn’t hit there.

  • Steve

    Great hire Lockheed! Maybe you can find someone from North Korea at the next job fair to take his place….

  • Azad

    Treat the citizens of the world equally. In case Mr.Khazaii was an Arab, you may permit him to marry your daughter.Why are you accusing the innocent Iranian, here or elsewhere of smuggling or stealing other people’s property. Stop spreading rumours some fools like the above commenter may wish to hang people down.
    In Iran, nothing is harder than killing while you all carry guns and fire the innocent school pupils, Take care

  • Velt

    Sort of a tangent but the F-35 is an amazing fighter jet with it’s STOVL (short take-off vertical landing) capabilities and all of the different options it has for 3 different branches of the military. I was fortunate to work on the controls systems for this aircraft in the early days. I encourage anyone to check some of its features on youtube.