An Iranian-born American, who was indicted for lying to federal law enforcement about transferring more than $100,000 to Iran, is suing the Department of Energy, claiming he was illegally dismissed.
Davoud Allen Eghbali was a veteran employee of the Savannah River Site who worked Savannah River National Laboratory.
He immigrated to the United States in 1979, became a citizen and gained a doctoral degree in nuclear engineering. In 1989, he began work at SRS and continued there until 2010, according to court documents.
In September 2009, Eghbali was indicted on charges of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about wire transfers he had made.
His indictment, filed in U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia, states that he knowingly made a false statement to a FBI Special Agent during the course of the agency’s investigation into the transfer of over $100,000 to Iran.
The indictment said Eghbali told the FBI he sent money overseas (other than to his parents) involving a transfer of money to a German bank on two or three occasions, totaling $40,000, knowing that the statement was false.
The document said that he had actually sent more than $100,000 to Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Dubai, all ultimately destined for Iran.
Eghbali was suspended from work after the indictment was true billed.
The case against Eghbali was dismissed without prejudice in 2010, meaning it could be brought again in the future. He believes the charges were fabricated as a pretext for dismissing him.
“The purpose of this coordinated indictment was to find an excuse for my dismissal from SRS because I am originally from Iran,” according to Eghbali’s complaint.
In February 2010, Eghbali was dismissed by his employer, Washington Safety Management Solution. He further claims that current management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions asked to interview him, but WSMS refused to allow Eghbali to access to SRS.
Eghbali is demanding punitive damages and compensation for lost wages.
The Department of Energy has not responded to the lawsuit.