Former Marine from Flint Fights Spying Charges After Being Held in Iran

A former Marine, University of Michigan graduate and son of Iraqi immigrants is in a dispute with the Federal Government over whether he can collect millions from a fund for international terrorism victims. Hekmati, who grew up in Flint, was  held in an Iranian prison for four years and tortured, making him eligible for the payout. But an FBI investigation contends he went to Iran to sell classified information.

Hekmati, who was born in Arizona, had previously worked as a Department of Defense contractor. He contends he went to Iran to meet his grandmother and other family members for the first time, when the Iranian government imprisoned him on suspicion of spying. He was released five years ago.  The U.S. Justice Department has never charged Hekmati.  His lawyers say the accusations are unfounded.