A Culver City man who worked for a defense contractor pleaded guilty today to economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act for selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be a Russian spy.
Justice Could Be Sent To Federal Prison For 35 Years
Gregory Allen Justice, 49, who worked as an engineer on military and
commercial satellite programs, could be sent to federal prison for as long as
35 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The “Russian Spy” Was Actually An Undercover FBI Agent
According to his plea agreement, Justice stole proprietary trade secrets
from his employer — which was never publicly identified — and provided them
to a person whom he believed to be a Russian spy — but who in fact was an
undercover FBI agent.
International Traffic In Arms Regulations Violation
In addition to their proprietary nature, the documents contained
technical data covered by the U.S. Munitions List and therefore were subject to
controls restricting export from the United States under the International
Traffic in Arms Regulations.
He Sought And Received Thousands Of Dollars In Cash
In exchange for providing the materials during a series of meeting
between February and July 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of
dollars in cash payments, according to his plea agreement.
Justice Compared The Situation To “The Americans” TV Show
During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed
developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show “The
Americans.” And during their final meeting, Justice offered to take the
undercover agent on a tour of his employer’s production facilities where
Justice said all military spacecraft were built, the document states.
Sentencing On September 18
Justice pleaded guilty to one count each of attempting to commit
economic espionage and attempting to violate the Arms Export Control Act. He is
scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Wu on Sept. 18.
Justice has been in federal custody since his arrest last July.
City News Service.
Photo by: fongfong