A former scientist with the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the White House’s National Space Council and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been felled by a 13-year prison sentence for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, attempted espionage, and tax evasion. According to the DOJ press release, Stewart David Nozette was also order to pay over $217,000 in restitution for the false claims he made to a number of government agencies. The sentence resolves two separate cases against the defendant.
Dr. Nozette pleaded guilty last fall to attempted espionage for giving classified materials to someone he believed to be a foreign intelligence officer. In fact, he provided classified information to an undercover agent for the United States.
In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion based on over $265,000 in false claims that he submitted to the federal government. Dr. Nozette, who has a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from MIT, worked in a number of high profile positions with the government. After leaving the government, Dr. Nozette became president, director and treasurer of the non-profit Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT). Over a six-year period, Nozette made agreements on behalf of ACT to develop advanced technology for various space and defense agencies of the U.S. government.
Dr. Nozette admitted that he used ACT to defraud agencies of the U.S. government by submitting over $265,000 in false claims for reimbursement. He also admitted to evading payment of $200,000 in taxes, using the nonprofit organization to assist him in his tax evasion.
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