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Iranian-born engineer accused of sensitive document theft to face detention hearing


An Iranian-born engineer accused of stealing sensitive technical information will appear again in federal court on Friday. 

The hearing will determine whether Ypsilanti resident Amin Hasanzadeh remains in detention.  

Hasanzadeh, a permanent U.S. resident, is accused of stealing highly sensitive, proprietary technical information related to the development of an aerospace industry supercomputer.   

The criminal complaint says he began stealing the data, specifications, and other information just six days after being hired by an unnamed metro Detroit Company.

He allegedly sent the information to a brother in Iran, who the government says has links to Iranian military programs. Some of the documents were also found in his wife’s cloud account.

The federal complaint says Hasanzadeh is a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan. A spokesman for the University of Michigan says the university is seeking additional information to determine his status.

Hasanzadeh is also accused of concealing his military service in Iran when he applied for permanent legal residency status in the U.S. 

On Wednesday, Hasanzadeh requested that the federal judge assign him a public defender.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.