Defense Employee Accused of Selling Secrets to Spies

     (CN) — A defense contractor employee working on U.S. military satellites for the Air Force, Navy and NASA was arrested on Thursday for allegedly attempting to sell proprietary defense secrets to a man he believed to be a Russian spy, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Central District of California.
     FBI agents arrested 49-year-old Gregory Allen Justice of Culver City, California, on charges of economic espionage and violations of the Arms Export Control Act after Justice repeatedly met with an undercover agent he believed to be a Russian spy and shared trade secret documents he had stolen from his employer.
     He told the undercover agent that he “just need[ed] money” in exchange for the information shared to care for his ill wife, according to the complaint.
     The documents Justice shared allegedly contained technical data covered by the U.S. Munitions List, subjecting them to export restrictions under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
     “Our nation’s security depends on the honesty and integrity of those entrusted with our technological secrets,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker in a statement. “In this case, the defendant sought to undermine our national security by attempting to sell proprietary and controlled information about satellites to a foreign government’s intelligence service. Fortunately, law enforcement agents were able to timely and effectively intervene to protect this critical technology.”
     “In the wrong hands, this information could be used to harm the United States and its allies,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin added. “The National Security Division will continue to relentlessly identify, pursue and prosecute offenders that threaten our national security. I would like to thank the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for their efforts in protecting our nation’s most sensitive information.”
     Justice is detained pending trial. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in federal prison for the espionage charges and 20 years for the Arms Export Control Act violations.
     The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

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