Accused Perot employee has heroic past

Sept. 25, 2009 at 10:01 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The Texas resident accused of an $8.6 million insider trading fraud was a hero three decades ago in the rescue of U.S. hostages in Iran, witnesses say.

Reza Saleh, an employee of several companies belonging to former independent presidential candidate H. Ross Perot, has been accused of buying $477,000 worth of stock options in advance of the $3.9 billion agreement for Dell Inc. to buy Perot Systems Corp and selling them when the deal was announced Monday for an $8.6 million profit, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

In 1979, Perot orchestrated the rescue of two Electric Data Systems executives who were being held hostage in Iran.

In the effort, "unsolicited and with no promise of reward, this guy put his life on the line and didn't flinch," said Ralph Boulware, who took part in the rescue effort.

Saleh, an Iranian who worked at Electric Data Systems, helped break the hostages out of a prison where they were held and guide them to safety in Turkey.

The incident is described by Ken Follett in the book "On Wings of Eagles."

A spokesman for the Perot family said, "Reza as been a close friend ... it saddens (the family) deeply to learn of these allegations."

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