LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Culver City man Monday pleaded guilty to trying to sell sensitive information used in military and commercial satellites to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy, according the United States Attorney’s Office.
Gregory Allen Justice, 49, was charged with economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act, spokesman Thom Mrozek said.
According to a plea deal, Justice stole proprietary trade secrets from a defense contractor he was working for and provided them to a person he believed to be a Russian operative, who was actually an undercover FBI employee, according to authorities.
The Department of Justice said the engineer received thousands of dollars in cash payments during a series of meetings between February and July of 2016 in exchange for providing documents containing classified technical data.
Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show “The Americans,” and he offered to take the undercover agent on a tour of his employer’s production facilities where he said all military spacecraft were built, according to the plea agreement.
Justice has been under arrest since July and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 18.
He could get up to 35 years in federal prison,
Investigators said he told them he needed money to help with his wife’s medical problems.