Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Happy Birthday To The Late, Great American Humorist And Novelist Mark Twain

Happy birthday to one of my favorite writers, the late, great American humorist and novelist Mark Twain. 

Mark Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, was born on this date in 1835.

You can read about Mark Twain's life and work via the below link to

Mark Twain - Quotes, Books & Real Name - Biography

And you can read my Philadelphia Inquirer review of Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour below:

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Operation Santa Claus

 The DOD News released the above and below photos about "Operation Santa Claus," which is the Alaska National Guard's yearly community relations and support program that provides gifts to children in remote communities across the state. 

In partnership with the Salvation Army, the program delivered 1,780 pounds of gifts, backpacks, hygiene supplies and books to 325 children in Scammon Bay, Alaska.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Little Humor: The Off-Kilter Wisdom Of Alfred E. Neuman

I've always enjoyed the off-kilter wisdom of MAD magazine's gap-toothed and goofy spokesman, Alfred E. Neuman.

"Most people don't act stupid, it's the real thing." 

Friday, November 25, 2022

FBI Warns Of Holiday Scams

As the holiday Season begins, the FBI is warning consumers of holiday scams:

Every year, thousands of people become victims of holiday scams. Scammers can rob you of hard-earned money, personal information, and, at the very least, a festive mood.

The two most prevalent of these holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes. In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received. Conversely, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2021 report, non-payment or non-delivery scams cost people more than $337 million. Credit card fraud accounted for another $173 million in losses.

Similar scams to beware of this time of year are auction fraud, where a product is misrepresented on an auction site, and gift card fraud, when a seller asks you to pay with a pre-paid card.

The IC3 receives a large volume of complaints in the early months of each year, suggesting a correlation with the previous holiday season’s shopping scams.

If You’ve Been Scammed 

  • Call your credit card company or your bank. Dispute any suspicious charges.
  • Contact local law enforcement.
  • Report the scam to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at

Tips to Avoid Holiday Scams 

Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, there are a number of ways you can protect yourself—and your wallet.

Practice good cybersecurity hygiene. 

  • Don’t click any suspicious links or attachments in emails, on websites, or on social media. Phishing scams and similar crimes get you to click on links and give up personal information like your name, password, and bank account number. In some cases, you may unknowingly download malware to your device. 
  • Be especially wary if a company asks you to update your password or account information. Look up the company’s phone number on your own and call the company.

Know who you’re buying from or selling to.

  • Check each website’s URL to make sure it’s legitimate and secure. A site you’re buying from should have https in the web address. If it doesn’t, don’t enter your information on that site.  
  • If you’re purchasing from a company for the first time, do your research and check reviews.
  • Verify the legitimacy of a buyer or seller before moving forward with a purchase. If you’re using an online marketplace or auction website, check their feedback rating. Be wary of buyers and sellers with mostly unfavorable feedback ratings or no ratings at all.
  • Avoid sellers who act as authorized dealers or factory representatives of popular items in countries where there would be no such deals.
  • Be wary of sellers who post an auction or advertisement as if they reside in the U.S., then respond to questions by stating they are out of the country on business, family emergency, or similar reasons.
  • Avoid buyers who request their purchase be shipped using a certain method to avoid customs or taxes inside another country.

Be careful how you pay.

  • Never wire money directly to a seller. 
  • Avoid paying for items with pre-paid gift cards. In these scams, a seller will ask you to send them a gift card number and PIN. Instead of using that gift card for your payment, the scammer will steal the funds, and you’ll never receive your item. 
  • Use a credit card when shopping online and check your statement regularly. If you see a suspicious transaction, contact your credit card company to dispute the charge.

Monitor the shipping process.

  • Always get tracking numbers for items you buy online, so you can make sure they have been shipped and can follow the delivery process.
  • Be suspect of any credit card purchases where the address of the cardholder does not match the shipping address when you are selling. Always receive the cardholder’s authorization before shipping any products.

And remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The U.S. Justice Department Awards Almost $160 Million To Support Forensic Science

 The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced today almost $160 million in grant awards to support crime laboratories, fund forensics research, decrease DNA backlogs and help investigators locate missing persons and identify human remains. The funding is administered by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

“Forensic science can play an indispensable role in solving crimes, absolving the innocent and finding the missing — all of which helps deliver justice to victims and their families,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “The Justice Department is pleased to support the thousands of dedicated professionals who investigate cases, staff our nation’s crime labs and work so hard to help ensure the fair and effective operation of our criminal justice system.”

The awards announced today will support DNA analysis, build the capacity of the nation’s crime labs to examine forensic evidence, help solve cold cases and enable coroners, medical examiners and law enforcement officials to locate missing persons and identify human remains. Grants will also expand the base of knowledge about the utility of forensic tools employed by investigators.

“One of the most urgent challenges facing criminal justice professionals today is earning and retaining the confidence of the communities they serve, a goal that forensic science, with all its untapped potential, can help us achieve,” said BJA Director Karhlton F. Moore. “These investments will give our state, local and Tribal partners the resources they need to solve crimes, improve the clearance rate for serious offenses like murder and sexual assault and bring long-awaited answers to victims and their families.”

“Building a strong forensic science infrastructure is a critical first step in the pursuit of justice and it is vital to ensuring the integrity of our justice system,” said NIJ Director Dr. Nancy La Vigne. “The National Institute of Justice is proud to help strengthen our nation’s forensic network by widening our understanding of the application of scientific methods and techniques to public safety.”

BJA and NIJ are distributing millions of dollars in awards to state and local jurisdictions throughout the United States and territories. Below is a list of funded grants. Descriptions of individual awards can be found by clicking on the links.

The awards announced above are being made as part of the regular end-of-fiscal year cycle. More information about these and other OJP awards can be found on the OJP Grant Awards Page.

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, advance racial equity in the administration of justice, assist victims and enhance the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Little Night Music: The Bacon Brother's 'Philly Thing'

Actor and singer-songwriter Ken Bacon and his brother, who grew up in Philadelphia, offer a song called Philly Thing.  

The song benefits school music programs.

You can listen to the song and watch the video via the below link:

The Bacon Brothers - Philly Thing - YouTube

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Friday, November 18, 2022

'The Next Time I Die’ Somewhere Between Philip K. Dick and The Twilight Zone

 The Washington Times ran my On Crime column on Jason Starr’s The Next Time I Die. 

“Dying was only the beginning. Steven Blitz didn’t think about his own safety when he saw the man trying to force a woman into his car. He stepped in to defend her and got a knife to the gut for his troubles.


“But when he wakes up in the hospital from what should have been a fatal wound, he finds the whole world changed — a different president in the White House, a loving family when he’d been on average of a divorce, more money in the bank then he’s ever seen. There’s a dark side, though: in this world, Steven Blitz is not a good man. And now he’s got to get himself out of serious trouble without even knowing what it is he’s done wrong.”


This is how Hard Case Crime, the publisher of Jason Starr’s “The Next Time I Die,” describes the unusual crime novel.


Hard Case Crime goes on to state that “The Next Time I Die” is a paranoid thriller that will draw the reader into its claustrophobic web of suspense, leaving one questioning everything one thinks one knows.


The publisher’s description certainly drew me to the suspenseful, reality-bending crime novel. And I was not disappointed.


The narrator of “The Next Time I Die,” Steven Blitz, a 47-year-old lawyer who is defending a brilliant serial killer, has a fight with his disgruntled wife, who throws him out of the house. This leads him to a gas station, a physical altercation and a stab wound, and his waking up in a hospital to an entirely different world.

In this new reality, Steven Blitz discovers that he has lost weight, and gained an adoring wife, a loving young daughter, two women he is seeing on the side, and a lot of money he apparently earned playing the stock market. He has also gained a stalker.


As if waking up in an alternate reality was not frightening enough, Steven Blitz begins to get a series of strange texts on his phone that simply read, “I SAW YOU STEVEN BLITZ.”


“This is the entire text from an unknown number displayed as ‘anontxt.’ The message would be disturbing and confusing enough if it wasn’t the same ‘final though’ I had after that guy stabbed me in the parking lot,” Steven Blitz informs the reader. “Is this just some wild coincidence, or does this mean that after I got stabbed, I had a premonition of this text? But how could I have a premonition about an event in another life, or another version of my life?”


I reached out to Jason Starr and asked him how he would describe “The Next Time I Die.”


“When a prominent defense attorney tries to break up a crime, he winds up getting stabbed in the gut,” Mr. Starr replied. “He should have died from the wound, but instead he winds up in a new reality, somewhere between Philip K. Dick and The Twilight Zone.”


You can read the rest of the column via the below link: 

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Next Time I Die' - Washington Times 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Three Arrested For Illegal Scheme To Export Controlled Data And Defraud The Department of Defense

The U.S. Attorney Office Western District of Kentucy released the below information:

WASHINGTON – A federal indictment was unsealed today following the arrest of three defendants and their initial appearances in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky. Phil Pascoe, 60, of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, Monica Pascoe, 45, of Floyds Knobs, Indiana; Scott Tubbs, 59, of Georgetown, Kentucky; and Quadrant Magnetics LLC were charged with wire fraud, violations of the Arms Export Control Act, and smuggling of goods for their roles in an illegal scheme to send export-controlled defense-related technical data to China and to unlawfully supply U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) with Chinese-origin rare earth magnets for aviation systems and military items.  

The indictment alleges that between January 2012 and December 2018, the defendants conspired to send approximately 70 drawings containing export-controlled technical data to a company located in China without a license from the U.S. government, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The technical data drawings were the property of two U.S. companies and related to end-use items for aviation, submarine, radar, tank, mortars, missiles, infrared and thermal imaging targeting systems, and fire control systems for DOD.

The indictment further alleges that Quadrant Magnetics imported rare earth magnets that were smelted and magnetized by a company in China. Quadrant then sold these magnets to two U.S. companies which included them in components sold to DOD for use in the F-16, the F-18, and other defense assets in violation of the Defense Acquisition Regulations System (DFARS). Under the DFARS specialty metal clause, rare earth magnets sold to DOD must be produced and magnetized in the United States or an approved country. China is not an approved country. 

Arraignments will be scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. If convicted, Phil Pascoe, Monica Pascoe and Scott Tubbs face statutory maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud; 20 years in prison for each count of exporting technical data without a license; and 10 years in prison for smuggling goods from the United States. Monica Pascoe and her co-defendants face a penalty of up to five years for conspiracy to defraud the United States. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky, Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI Counterintelligence Division and Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office made the announcement.

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service, FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, IRS - Criminal Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Judd and Christopher Tieke for the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorneys David Recker and Liz Abraham with the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

DOD: Liberation Of Kherson 'Significant Accomplishment' for Ukraine

C. Todd Lopez at the DOD News offers a piece on the Russian withdrawal from Kherson.

Over the weekend, Russian forces withdrew from Kherson in Ukraine, a city of more than 280,000. It's a big win for the Ukrainian people and its military, one senior military official said during a briefing at the Pentagon.     

The most significant development over the weekend was the Russian military's withdrawal from Kherson City and the west bank of the Dnipro River," the official said. "While we continue to monitor, we do assess that Russian forces have relocated onto the eastern side of the river and established their defensive lines, thus ceding a significant amount of territory to the Ukrainians to include your Kherson City." 

The official said Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate gains and are now busy clearing obstacles and mines left behind by the Russians. The Ukrainians are also assessing the damage done by the Russian occupiers before they departed; the official said indications are that the Russians did significant damage to civilian infrastructure in Kherson, including water and other utility systems. 

"The Russians don't appear inclined to depart the rest of occupied Ukraine, [and] there's undoubtedly still tough fighting ahead," the official said. "But the liberation [of] Kherson City is a significant accomplishment and a testament to the grit, determination and tenacity of the Ukrainian people and their armed forces as they fight to defend their nation." 

You can read the rest of the piece and see photos via the below link:

Liberation of Kherson 'Significant Accomplishment' for Ukraine > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Little Humor: Fetterman Realizes American Dream Of Living With Parents Til You're 50 And Then Getting A Government Job

The Babylon Bee offers a clever satire of Senator-elect John Fetterman.

HARRISBURG, PA — Senator-elect John Fetterman has finally realized the American dream by living with his parents until at least the age of 50 before smoothly transitioning into a cushy government job.

Fetterman, 53, told his parents they wouldn't need to make him dinner on January 3 because he will be in Washington, D.C. trying to make his dream come true for every American.

The senator-elect, who famously served as the mayor of Braddock, PA from his parent's basement, has said that he's excited to finally leave the nest. "I asked and they won't move to D.C.," said Fetterman. "I want pancakes."

The parents of the freshman senator are reportedly happy to see their son finally strike out on his own and show the world what it means to have loving parents who will care for you for most of your life. "Freaking finally," his loving father told reporters. "I mean, come on. I thought he would never leave." 

You can read the rest of the humor piece via the below link:

Fetterman Realizes American Dream Of Living With Parents Til You're 50 And Then Getting A Government Job | Babylon Bee 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Former U.S. Navy Nuclear Engineer And His Wife Sentenced For Espionage-Related Offenses

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

WASHINGTON – A Maryland man and his wife were sentenced today for conspiracy to communicate Restricted Data related to the design of nuclear-powered warships.

Jonathan Toebbe (seen in the above photo), 44, of Annapolis, was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months of incarceration and fined $45,700. His wife, Diana Toebbe, 46, was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months of incarceration and fined $50,000. The Toebbes pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in August 2022.

“If not for the remarkable efforts of FBI agents, the sensitive data stolen by Mr. Toebbe could have ended up in the hands of an adversary of the United States and put the safety of our military and our nation at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld. “The FBI keeps American citizens safe from enemies both foreign and domestic and this case is an excellent reminder of their important work.”

“The Toebbes were willing to compromise the security of the nation by selling information related to naval nuclear propulsion systems. They are now being held accountable for their actions,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “The FBI and our federal partners have an unwavering commitment to protect U.S. secrets and will continue to aggressively investigate and expose espionage activities conducted on U.S. soil.”

According to court documents, at the time of his arrest, Jonathan Toebbe was an employee of the Department of the Navy who served as a nuclear engineer and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors. He held an active national security clearance through the Department of Defense, giving him access to “Restricted Data” within the meaning of the Atomic Energy Act. Restricted Data concerns design, manufacture or utilization of atomic weapons, or production of Special Nuclear Material (SNM), or use of SNM in the production of energy – such as naval reactors. Jonathan Toebbe worked with and had access to information concerning naval nuclear propulsion including information related to military sensitive design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of the reactors for nuclear powered warships.

According to court documents, Jonathan Toebbe sent a package to a foreign government, listing a return address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, containing a sample of Restricted Data and instructions for establishing a covert relationship to purchase additional Restricted Data. Jonathan Toebbe began corresponding via encrypted email with an individual whom he believed to be a representative of the foreign government. The individual was really an undercover FBI agent. Jonathan Toebbe continued this correspondence for several months, which led to an agreement to sell Restricted Data in exchange for thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.

On June 8, 2021, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Jonathan Toebbe as “good faith” payment. Shortly afterwards, on June 26, Jonathan Toebbe serviced a dead drop by placing an SD card, which was concealed within half a peanut butter sandwich and contained military sensitive design elements relating to submarine nuclear reactors, at a pre-arranged location. After retrieving the SD card, the undercover agent sent Jonathan Toebbe a $20,000 cryptocurrency payment. In return, Jonathan Toebbe emailed the undercover agent a decryption key for the SD Card. A review of the SD card revealed that it contained Restricted Data related to submarine nuclear reactors. On Aug. 28, Jonathan Toebbe made another “dead drop” of an SD card in eastern Virginia, this time concealing the card in a chewing gum package. After making a payment to Jonathan Toebbe of $70,000 in cryptocurrency, the FBI received a decryption key for the card. It, too, contained Restricted Data related to submarine nuclear reactors. The FBI arrested Jonathan Toebbe and his wife on Oct. 9, after he placed yet another SD card at a pre-arranged “dead drop” at a second location in West Virginia.

The FBI and NCIS are investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Matthew J. McKenzie and S. Derek Shugert of the National Security Division's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jarod J. Douglas and Lara Omps-Botteicher of the Northern District of West Virginia, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar for the Western District of Pennsylvania prosecuted the case.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Veterans Day 2022: Honoring And Remembering All Who Served

On this Veterans Day, 2022, I'm thinking about my late older brother Ed Davis (seen in the above photo), who served as a soldier in Chu Lai, South Vietnam in 1968-1969.

I'm also thinking of my late father, Edward Miller Davis (seen in the center of the above photo), who was a chief petty officer and a UDT frogman in WWII.

I'm proud to say that I'm also a veteran, having served on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War in 1970-1971.  

I also served on a U.S. Navy harbor tugboat, the USS Saugus, at the U.S. nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch, Scotland in 1974-1975. 

I salute all who served in the armed forces. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Too Many Philly Cops Are Saying, “Exit, Stage Left!”

Broad + Liberty ran my piece on Philly cops retiring and quitting in alarming numbers.

You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

Paul Davis: Too many Philly cops are saying, "Exit, Stage Left!" (

Back in the early 1960s there was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon on TV that featured an entertaining pink mountain lion named Snagglepuss. 

Snagglepuss, who wore an upright collar, bow tie and cuffs, had a distinctive voice and a theatrical bent. He often broke the “fourth wall” and spoke directly to the TV audience, offering his narration and goofy asides, and he often uttered his catchphrase, “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” 

In times of difficulty, Snagglepuss would raise a leg, look directly out at his TV audience, and say, “Exit, stage left!”    

Sadly, today many Philadelphia police officers are emulating Snagglepuss and exiting stage left in alarming numbers.   

I know a veteran Philadelphia police officer who some years ago told me that he would never retire.

“I’m gonna die on the job,” the officer said.

That was then. 

That officer recently told me that he was retiring. He said the job has changed. 

“Cops get no support from the city’s leaders, the media and the public,’ the officer said. “It’s like they are just waiting for a good cop to f*** up, just once, so the mayor and the police commissioner can disown him, the media can condemn him, and the DA can prosecute him.”

The once proud officer told me he has had enough and he is moving on, like so many other highly trained and experienced police officers.

As former Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer columnist Stu Bykofsky noted in a piece in Philadelphia Weekly last year, the police are defunding themselves.

“Anti-cop critics may not have to actually ‘defund the police.’ Philadelphia police are depopulating their own ranks in an unprecedented dash for the doors. More Philadelphia police officers have put in for DROP this past year than in any year in the past decade, except for one, which indicates deep dissatisfaction in the ranks,” Bykofsky wrote. “In 2020, 135 officers filed for retirement, trailing only the 159 officers who put in for retirement in 2018. However, 114 cops put in their papers in January 2021 alone, a number that is greater than the total for most years. The combination of 2020 and January 2021 totals a record of 249. If January is a harbinger, 2021 will shatter all records. 

“What’s driving most of the fleeing cops out of a job they used to love is a sense of betrayal.” 

Rebecca Rhynhart, who recently resigned as city controller to run for mayor, released her office’s “Review and Analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department and Other Related Police Spending” last month. 

As one key finding in the executive summary noted“With about 95% of PPD’s funding spent on personnel costs, the review examined PPD’s staffing trends in detail. PPD’s staffing levels have decreased significantly in recent years, from 6,590 filled uniform positions at the end of FY 2019 to 5,983 at the end of FY 2022. Based on recent attrition and recruiting trends, this total is likely to continue to decrease and could fall below 5,200 by the end of FY 2025 if the department does not increase its recruitment and retention of officers.”

The cops who are retiring or quitting say they worry about deadly confrontation with criminals armed with illegal guns. If the cops draw their firearm and kill a suspect, they run the risk of being fired by an unsupportive mayor and commissioner, and being prosecuted by an anti-cop, progressive DA.

If they don’t draw their firearm and kill the suspect, that suspect may very well kill them. 

And they have about two seconds to make that fateful decision.

Anti-cop protesters can hurl bricks, bottles and unidentifiable liquids at officers, but if an officer responds by physically arresting the offender, he may very well be captured on someone’s cell phone video, which may lead to the officer’s firing and prosecution.

Definitely a hostile work environment. 

So what can be done to retain veteran officers and recruit new highly qualified officers? 

As a crime reporter and columnist, I’ve been covering the cops for nearly 30 years. Over the years, I’ve interviewed police commissioners, deputy commissioners and other senior officers. I’ve also gone out on many “ride-alongs” with patrol officers, detectives and plainclothes narcotics officers. 

Nearly every cop I’ve spoken to, from high-ranking officers to the rank and file, say that there needs to be more support from politicians and political appointees, as well as from the media and the public. 

For starters, a cop that appears to have erred should be given the benefit of the doubt and presumed innocent, and not immediately be crucified. Too often cops are villainized, and criminals are canonized

“Cops arrest the bad guys, but they are either released quickly without bail, or not prosecuted at all,” the retiring veteran officer said. “Who needs this?”

Paul Davis is a South Philadelphia writer who covers crime. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Former U.S. Military Pilot Sentenced For Acting As Paid Agent Of China And Lying On National Security Background Forms

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

SAN DIEGO – Former U.S. Army helicopter pilot-turned-civilian-contractor Shapour Moinian was sentenced in federal court today to 20 months for acting as an agent of China and accepting thousands of dollars from representatives of the Chinese government to provide aviation-related information from his defense-contractor employers.

During today’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller told the defendant: “This was industrial espionage, bordering on military espionage…These were extremely serious offenses against the United States.”

U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said: “Today this defendant is being held to account for selling American technology and intellectual property to the Chinese. This crime was committed by a former member of the U.S. military who chose cash over his company and country. The United States will aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who works at the direction of foreign governments to steal from Americans.”

“Mr. Moinian deserves to be held fully accountable for betraying his oath to the United States, selling sensitive information to the Chinese government, and lying repeatedly to cover up his crimes,” said Special Agent in Charge Brice Miller of the NCIS Office of Special Projects. “This sentencing should make it clear: NCIS and our partners are fully committed to protecting the U.S. military and rooting out criminality that threatens the superiority of the U.S. warfighter.”

Moinian served in the Army in the United States, Germany, and South Korea from approximately 1977 through 2000. After his service, Moinian worked for various cleared defense contractors (CDC) in the United States – including in San Diego - as well as the Department of Defense. “Cleared” is a term that indicates a contractor is permitted to work on projects that involve classified information.

According to his plea agreement, while Moinian was working for a CDC on various aviation projects used by the military and U.S. intelligence agencies, he was contacted by an individual in China who claimed to be working for a technical recruiting company. This person offered Moinian the opportunity to consult for the aviation industry in China.

In March of 2017, Moinian travelled to Hong Kong where he met with this purported recruiter and agreed to provide information and materials related to multiple types of aircraft designed and/or manufactured in the United States in exchange for money. Moinian accepted approximately $7,000-$10,000 in United States currency during that meeting. According to his plea agreement, at this meeting and at all subsequent meetings, Moinian knew that these individuals were employed or directed by the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Upon returning to the United States, Moinian began gathering aviation-related materials, which included transferring material from a CDC to a thumb drive. In September 2017, Moinian traveled overseas. During a stopover at the Shanghai airport, he met with Chinese government officials and provided aviation-related materials on a thumb drive, including proprietary information from a CDC. Thereafter, Moinian arranged to be paid for this information through the South Korean bank account of his stepdaughter. Moinian told his stepdaughter that these funds were payment for his consulting work overseas and instructed her to transfer the funds to him in multiple transactions.

Moinian also received a cell phone and other equipment from these individuals to communicate with them and aid in the electronic transfer of materials and information.

At the end of March 2018, Moinian traveled to Bali and met with these same individuals again. Later that year, he began working at another CDC. During this timeframe, the same individuals in China transferred thousands of dollars into the South Korean bank account of Moinian’s stepdaughter, who subsequently wired the funds to Moinian in multiple transactions.

In August 2019, Moinian traveled again to Hong Kong and met with these same individuals where he was again paid approximately $22,000 in cash for his services. Moinian and his wife smuggled this cash back into the United States.

Moinian also admitted that he lied on his government background questionnaires in July 2017 and March 2020, when he falsely stated that did not have any close or continuing contacts with foreign nationals and that no foreign national had offered him a job.

Grossman thanked the prosecution team as well as the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service  and the Department of Justice’s National Security Division for their excellent work on this case.

DEFENDANTS                                          Case Number          21CR02927-JM

Shapour Moinian                                   Age: 67                 San Diego


Title 18, United States Code, Section 951 (Acting as an Agent of a Foreign Government)

Maximum penalty: Ten years in prison and $250,000 per count fine

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 (Materially False, Fictitious, or Fraudulent Statement or Representation)

Maximum penalty: Five years in prison and $250,000 per count fine


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Foreign Corruption
Press Release Number: