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U of M professor punished for 'outrageous scheme' to swindle wife during divorce

The 57 year old lied about how much was in his retirement account.

A University of Minnesota professor has been sentenced to probation and fined $30,000 after lying about the amount of money in his retirement account during divorce proceedings.

Massoud Amin was accused of carrying out an "outrageous scheme" by Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Joshua Larson in court, who said he wove a "tapestry of lies and greed" to reduce his financial obligations to his wife during divorce.

The court heard that Amin submitted documents to Hennepin County Family Court indicating his retirement account had $745,012 in it, but his wife was adamant that was wrong, and testimony indicated he'd tampered with the documents.

The actual balance of the retirement fund was almost $900,000.

The 57 year old was sentenced last week to 4 years probation, 4 months in a workhouse and a $30,000 fine.

It was part of a sentencing deal after Amin, who is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the U, was convicted by a jury of attempted theft by swindle, and two counts of aggravated forgery.

His ex-wife submitted a victim impact statement that was read in court, saying Amin had manipulated her so she began to doubt herself and her memory, and also feared for her safety because he bought 14 guns after the case began.

Part of the sentencing deal is that Amin must provide proof that he has sold all his guns.

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He appealed for leniency from the judge, noting that he came to the U.S. in 1978 and that the criminal proceedings against him has seen his reputation severely damaged.

"I have been demoted back to where I started," he said, adding: "I beg for mercy.'

The Star Tribune reports that Amin has resigned as the director of the U of M's Technological Leadership Institute and is not teaching class, though is still a faculty member and will continue his research.

His attorney told the newspaper that Amin is considering an appeal, with the university saying it will reevaluate his status once the matter is closed.

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