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Foreign National Sentenced to 27 Months in Prison for Stealing the Identity of a U.S. Pilot

On March 9, 2015, Nader Sabouri Haghighi, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Houston, Texas, to serve 27 months in prison for using personally identifying information stolen from a U.S. pilot. Haghighi used the information to fraudulently obtain a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate. He previously pleaded guilty to identity theft in November 2014.

In April 2013, Sabouri Haghighi was indicted and charged with accessing the FAA’s Airman Services Records System without authorization. The Airman Services Records System is an on-line database used by the FAA to monitor and regulate persons authorized to fly aircraft. He was also charged related to his use of the victim pilot's U.S. passport to open a mail forwarding account, and other personally identifying information to open a bank account, as well as illegally obtaining the pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate in the victim’s name. Sabouri Haghighi fled after charges were filed, and in September 2014, he was arrested and taken into custody in Panama, where he waived extradition back to the U.S. 

This case was jointly prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice.