News and Press Releases

Man attempted to take two small children to his native Iran without wife’s permission

January 27, 2006

HASSAN KHALEGHI, 38, of Bellevue, Washington was sentenced to two years of probation today in U.S. District Court in Seattle for International Parental Kidnaping. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman ordered KHALEGHI to participate in mental health treatment and take parenting classes.

The case unfolded late on Friday, May 13, 2005, when KHALEGHI sought to leave the United States with his two small children for his native Iran. The FBI was contacted by an attorney for the children’s mother at 4 PM on Friday, May 13th, with information that KHALEGHI had taken the children without the mother’s permission and left the country on a 1 PM flight to Amsterdam. According to the children’s mother, KHALEGHI had wanted to move the family to Iran. KHALEGHI had called the children’s mother from the plane and told her he was taking the children to Iran and she would never see them again. The FBI confirmed that KHALEGHI, his 7-year-old son and 1-year-old son were on the plane.

Working quickly with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice Office of International Affairs and INTERPOL, KHALEGHI was arrested by Dutch authorities when the Northwest Airlines flight arrived in Amsterdam. The children were reunited with their mother who flew to Amsterdam the next day. The U.S. Marshal’s Service returned KHALEGHI to the United States on June 3, 2005.

The government and attorney’s for KHALEGHI reached an agreement that he should be sentenced to two years probation believing that would be in the best interests of the family. As prosecutors noted in their sentencing memorandum, “the Government believes that Defendant did not intend to harm his children in this matter. By all accounts, he is a loving father. ... The Government hopes and believes that the conditions of Probation proposed here will be sufficient to prevent the crime from occurring again.”

Under the terms of his probation, KHALEGHI must turn his passport over to U.S. Probation which will approve all of his international travel. KHALEGHI’s children may only travel out of Washington State with their mother.

The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Lawrence Lincoln prosecuted the case.

For additional information contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington at (206)553-4110.

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