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Iranian jailed over U.S. pilot credential fraud

The Justice Department statement said there was no evidence Haghighi had sought the flying permits for “terrorism-related” activity

Published: Updated:

An Iranian man was sentenced by a Texas court Monday to more than two years in prison for stealing the identity of a US pilot in order to obtain federal aviation credentials.

Nader Ali Sabouri Haghighi, 41, pleaded guilty in November to four counts of identity theft related to his attempt to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) and flight instructor certificate.

The Justice Department statement said there was no evidence Haghighi had sought the flying permits for “terrorism-related” activity.

Haghighi’s fraud came to light after he crashed a plane in Bornholm, Denmark in September 2012 while in possession of his victim’s ATP, the highest level of aircraft pilot license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

He later returned to Iran before resurfacing in Indonesia. He was eventually arrested in Panama, where he waived extradition to the United States in August 2014.