December 3, 2023
An indication in entrance of a Qualcomm constructing in San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

The lead investor of an organization that was bought to San Diego’s Qualcomm for greater than $150 million pleaded responsible Thursday to a federal cash laundering cost.

Prosecutors allege the sale was actually a part of a fraudulent scheme involving a former Qualcomm worker, Karim Arabi.

Ali Akbar Shokouhi, 64, of San Diego, was charged final yr for his function in allegedly promoting a microchip know-how start-up often known as Abreezio to the San Diego tech big in 2015.

Although the gross sales pitch represented that Abreezio’s know-how was invented by a Canadian grad pupil, prosecutors stated it was not disclosed that the coed was Arabi’s sister.

Arabi truly created the know-how at concern and did so whereas working as a vp of analysis and improvement at Qualcomm, in keeping with the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace.

Prosecutors stated Arabi’s employment agreements held that innovations he created would belong to Qualcomm, so the defendants hid his involvement with Abreezio.

Shokouhi, additionally a former Qualcomm worker, was actively concerned in obscuring Arabi’s connection to Abreezio, in keeping with his plea settlement. This included referring to Arabi by one other title in his textual content messages with co-defendants.

Abreezio’s ex-CEO, Sanjiv Taneja, 60, of Cupertino, additionally pleaded responsible earlier this yr to a cash laundering cost.

As soon as Qualcomm started investigating the transaction, Arabi informed Taneja to delete their e mail correspondence, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace stated.

Prosecutors say the defendants laundered the cash they obtained from the Abreezio sale by means of international actual property purchases and interest-free loans.

Shokouhi and Taneja await sentencing, whereas Arabi’s case continues. He’s due again in courtroom subsequent month.

– Metropolis Information Service