Canadian accused of defrauding Honeywell dies in U.S.

Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:13pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Canadian man charged by U.S. prosecutors two weeks ago with trying to fraudulently obtain aircraft parts from Honeywell International Inc was found dead in his New York apartment, apparently of natural causes, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Lawyer Sabrina Shroff said her client Faramarz Rafii Tari, 52, had been in poor health. She said an employee of pretrial services found Tari dead in his apartment on Tuesday morning.

"He hadn't called us back for a couple of days and out of concern we sent someone to investigate," Shroff said.

On March 3, federal prosecutors in New York charged Tari and Stefan Gillier, a Belgian native and Canadian resident, each with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

The government alleged that the men, co-presidents of RTF International Inc, ordered more than $7 million of parts from Honeywell and the Pratt & Whitney unit of United Technologies Corp without paying. Tari was also president of UN Air Service Inc. Gillier is at large, prosecutors said.

Honeywell is based in Morris Township, New Jersey, and United Technologies in Hartford, Connecticut.

The case is U.S. v. Tari et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-mag-393.

(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Richard Chang)