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July 10, 2008 

Feds Knock; A Business is Lost

USA Today has published an interesting, extensive and disturbing article entitled "Feds Knock; A Business is Lost" that focuses on the history and aftermath of the export enforcement case involving Alex Latifi, the owner of Huntsville, Alabama defense contractor Axion Corporation, who was acquitted last year of violating the Arms Export Control Act after being accused of exporting classified drawings for the U.S. Army's Black Hawk helicopter part to China.

After his acquittal, Mr. Latifi was subsequently awarded $360,000 under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA) to cover the legal fees that he incurred in his defense.

Mr. Latifi is attempting to restart his business, which once employed 60 people and had annual revenues of $4 million. Meanwhile, "Mr. Latifi is seeking additional legal fees and access to the government's files through a legal channel called the Hyde Amendment, which provides for compensating exonerated defendants if 'the position of the United States was vexatious, frivolous, or in bad faith.'"

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