LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Culver City engineer who worked for a defense contractor was sentenced Monday to 60 months in prison for selling sensitive satellite data to a person he believed to be an agent of a Russian intelligence service, authorities announced.
Gregory Allen Justice, 50, who worked as a Boeing engineer on military and commercial satellite programs, was sentenced United States District Judge George H. Wu.
In handing down the sentence, Judge Wu called it “extremely troubling” that Justice was willing to sell the secrets to the Russians because it is well known that their government “is not friendly to this country.”
Justice pleaded guilty in May to two counts of attempting to commit economic espionage, and attempting to send restricted information out of the United States in violation the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
As part of the plea, Justice admitted that he stole proprietary trade secrets from his employer and provided them to a person he believed to be a Russian agent – but who in fact was an undercover FBI employee.
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.