Gary Bender, a veteran biometrics expert who has been called an architect of the FBI's highly-touted fingerprint system, says he was tricked out of at least $940,800 by a business partner in Newport Beach.
In a lawsuit filed this week in Orange County Superior Court, Bender alleges that Behnam Bavarian, his business partner at AFIS and Biometric Consulting, Inc., owes him the money because he breached their 50-50 revenue split agreement.
On the company's website, Behnam and Bender claim that their clients have included the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco Police Department, National Institute of Justice and Fingerprint Interoperability Project and the Calgary Police.
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According to Bender's lawsuit, Behnam approached him in 2007 and proposed a 50-50 deal from their expected consulting gigs. Bender says that while he wrote "most" of the consulting proposals and performed "nearly all of the technical work" on seven approved projects, he still complied with the equal split agreement. But he says he discovered that Behnam considered him his employee, hired his own son and "misappropriated" corporate funds by incurring costs without consulting with him, the lawsuit alleges.
Behnam's lawyers have not yet filed a response in court.
The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Gregory Lewis.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly