Mohammad Faghihi was the principal investigator on several National Institute of Health grants
A former University of Miami professor, his wife and his sister are facing federal charges related to purchasing genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers and illegally shipping it to Iran, prosecutors said.
Mohammad Faghihi, 52, his wife Farzeneh Modarresi, 53, and his sister Faezeh Faghihi, 50, made their initial appearances Tuesday in Miami federal court, according to court records. All three are charged with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States and conspiring to commit money laundering, as well as several other charges.
The family operated a Florida company called Express Gene. According to a criminal complaint, Express Gene received numerous wire transfers from accounts in Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates totaling almost $3.5 million between October 2016 and November 2020. Some of that money was used to purchase genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers to ship it to Iran without a license, despite sanctions on Iran, investigators said.
In February, Mohammad Faghihi arrived at Miami International Airport from Iran and lied to Customs and Border Protection officers, prosecutors said. Faghihi told them that he didn’t practice his