How did the Director of Flight Crew Operations Johnson Space Center and former astronaut pass the background check for NASA without her husband’s two illegal Iranian immigrant cousins showing up on her background investigation?
In my first article, I introduced my ex-husband Farzad (whom I refer to in the book as Fred), who had falsified birth registration records, obtained a social security card, driver’s license, and even got married using his fraudulent documents. After applying for a position as an officer in the US Navy, Farzad successfully defrauded the government using his fake credentials, and now he could apply for a secret security clearance without fear.
Of course, he backed out of the Navy before he was sworn in, because he never intended on joining in the first place. It was all just a test to see if he could pass a government background check. The security clearance was obtained through Aerojet in Sacramento, California, where Farzad worked on Polaris and MX missiles beginning in 1985.
Farzad immediately searched for a higher paying job, which he found at Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton, California. From there, Farzad worked for McDonnell Douglas, Grumman, and General Dynamics, just to name a few.
In 1991, we received a knock on our door, and when I opened the door there stood a man dressed in a blue Hawaiian shirt, khaki pants, and sun glasses. The man turned out to be from the US State Department. He wanted to know why Farzad had not surrendered his expired student visa after exiting the United States. Not bad, it only took them ten years to figure out he wasn’t in school any longer and hadn’t left the country.
The agent gave Farzad one week to leave the country and surrender his visa. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this, as I was not privy to the conversation between Farzad and the agent. All I knew at the time was Farzad told me to get a sitter for our three children, because we had to run to Tijuana for something. Crossing the border to Tijuana wasn’t uncommon for us, so I didn’t question it. Farzad made one stop to talk to a guy, and then we went to the post office in Tijuana, where Farzad mailed an envelope. I would later find out, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the envelope was Farzad’s expired visa.
Now that I’ve caught everyone up to speed, let me introduce Janet Kavandi, my ex-husband Farzad’s cousin by marriage. I first met Janet in 1982 at Farzad’s apartment, where she was hanging out watching television with her fiancé, Farhad (Farzad’s cousin on his mother’s side).
Farhad (whom I refer to as John in the book) came to the United States on a student visa like my ex-husband did, through sponsorship by their Uncle Nassar.
Janet was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994 and reported to the Johnson Space Center in March 1995. By 1993, when Janet’s background investigation began, the State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) already knew Farzad had overstayed his student visa, ran to Tijuana and sent his visa to the State Department, thus showing he had exited the US, but was working again illegally on defense contracts. Miraculously, Farzad and his younger brother, Farshad (whom I refer to as Frank in the book), never showed up on Janet’s background check. All of Janet’s aunts, uncles, other cousins, friends, professors, employers, roommates, Sunday school teacher, dry cleaner, and paper boy had been contacted and/or interviewed except for Farzad and Farshad. Farzad and Farhad were not distant cousins that never spent time together. On the contrary, these cousins came from Iran together, stayed with their uncle together, were roommates in college and were as close as any two cousins could be.
Farshad was sent to the US when he was only fourteen, but he quit high school and started drinking and using drugs. Eventually, Farshad had to leave Missouri because he had a warrant for his arrest. He fled to California in 1983. Farshad was quickly arrested for drunk driving and destroying property, but somehow this never came up on Janet’s background check either, nor did his illegal status. The government had to know where these two brothers were from 1983-1994 because they were both using Farzad’s social security card to work in California. All of Farzad’s relatives, as well as Janet, knew he and his brother were illegal, so they never mentioned to the investigators they even existed.
Janet and Farhad continued their close relationship with Farzad during her background check, as well as afterwards, including currently.
In 1995, I filed for divorce from Farzad, and while cleaning out a closet in our son’s room, I discovered documents Farzad had hidden. Among the documents, were official transcripts from Iran stating Farzad’s birthplace (Iran) and his real birth parents. I called INS and was told Farzad was not born in the US as he had told me.
Two FBI agents were on my doorstep the next day interrogating me on what I knew about Farzad. The FBI agents told me not to tell anyone they were investigating Farzad. The investigation never went anywhere until 9/11 occurred, and Farzad was pulled over by a Texas State Trooper. He was clocked driving ninety miles per hour on the freeway with three other Iranians.
I received a call from a Federal Prosecutor in Texas named Denise Williamson, and she wanted to know about Farzad. I told her I divorced him in 1995, and I didn’t know anything except that the FBI had been investigating him for the past six years. Farzad was charged and convicted of two felonies; falsifying documents to obtain citizenship and giving false information to a law enforcement officer. Farzad accepted a plea bargain to only serve eight months in prison and be deported back to Iran, with the stipulation he could never return to the United States or apply for political asylum.
Today, Farzad is a free man living and working in California and carrying a Texas driver’s license. As of November 2012, he was working for General Dynamics. Farzad’s child support arrearages, in the amount of $274,000.00, were wiped clean, and he never has to pay. You may be asking “Why?” It’s because the Department of Child Support Services was told he was deported. I called the Federal Prosecutor, and she was stunned to find out Farzad was still here and back to work for defense contractors. She told me she would investigate. I asked her if a plea bargain can be changed on a federal level and she said, “Absolutely not!” The last email I received from her in July of 2013 informed me that she could not help. How does a Federal Prosecutor not know what is going on with her own case?
Editor’s Note: After speaking with Mrs. Roberson, I am questioning the true legal status of Farhad, the husband of Mrs. Kavandi. According to Roberson, Farhad’s father smuggled his wife and John and his two sisters out of Iran when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power and then he was executed along with all the other military officers that served under the Shaw. Given the involvement of the other family members to immigrate here illegally and engage in illegal document forgeries, this does seem a reasonable question to ask. This would seem to have serious implications since his wife is the Director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson Space Center.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our friends at RepublicanLegion.com.
Become an insider!
Sign up for the free Freedom Outpost email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.