Federal jury finds former Tampa scientist defrauded NASA, Navy

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    A former Tampa scientist was convicted on six counts of wire fraud, after a federal jury found he used $2.1 million in federal research funds to support his lifestyle.

    Akbar Ghaneh-Fard faces up to 20 years in federal prison, a press releasefrom the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida said.

    Fard was the principal investigator at Advanced Materials Technology Inc. in Tampa, when the company received several Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer awards. The programs are designed to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally-funded research and development and to increase competition, productivity and economic growth.