They had just dropped off an SD card at a meeting place. An American couple, including a US 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, said American justice announced Sunday, October 10.
“For nearly 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 ships from nuclear-powered war on a person 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 “documents of the navy” 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.
SD cards hidden in sandwiches
According to excerpts from the exchanges, the undercover agent offers “a gift” from “a trusted friend in your country”, but the engineer, based in Annapolis, capital of the state of Maryland, is 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.