in the United States, a couple arrested for nuclear espionage

An American couple, including a U.S. Navy engineer, were arrested in West Virginia on Saturday and charged with nuclear espionage for a foreign government, in reality an undercover FBI agent who paid them with cryptocurrency, American justice announced this Sunday.

«For almost a year“Writes the US Department of Justice, 42-year-old nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe, aided by his 45-year-old wife Diana,”sold protected information about the design of nuclear-powered warships to someone they believed to be a representative of a foreign power“, But who was”an undercover FBI agent».

The complaint of the federal prosecutor, made public, tells how this agent came into contact with the suspect, employed in the nuclear propulsion program of the navy, after the interception of a first package containing in particular “navy documents»And a computer card giving the procedure for establishing contact on an encrypted messaging system. The package was intended for a foreign country which was not disclosed by the courts.

Cryptocurrencies for $ 100,000

According to excerpts from the exchanges, the undercover agent offers “a gift” from “from a trusted friend in your country», But the engineer, based in Annapolis, capital of the state of Maryland, is wary and wants to be paid in cryptocurrency. In several times between June and August, the man received payments in cryptocurrency for 100,000 dollars, in exchange for which he handed over confidential information related to the nuclear reactors of submarines. This data was contained on encrypted SD cards, deposited at pre-arranged locations in West Virginia, and concealed in a peanut butter sandwich or packet of chewing gum. The engineer wrote there under the name of “Alice».

The couple were arrested by the FBI on Saturday after again dropping an SD card at a meeting place. Indicted for violating the atomic energy law, the Toebbe will appear in court for the first time on Tuesday in the case, in federal court in Martinsburg, West Virginia.



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