FBI Charges US Department Nuclear Engineer and His Wife With Selling Classified Information In Exchange For Crypto

2021-10-11 18:36:14
Selling National Secrets

Jonathan Toebbe, a U.S. Department of the Navy nuclear engineer, together with his wife Diana Toebbe, are apprehended for selling classified government information to an undercover government agent. In exchange for the information, the couple received $100.000 in monero cryptocurrency. That is prior to their apprehension by the authorities.

More specifically, the engineer and his wife were intending to sell classified information regarding the design of certain US nuclear submarines. The charges by the FBI officially state that the couple ‘engaged in a conspiracy. All in order to sell the design to an undisclosed foreign country.

Working as an engineer in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, Jonathan Toebbe had access to highly sensitive data. In fact, he used his security clearance at the US Department of Defense in order to obtain classified information regarding the design. Thus resulting in him and his wife violating the Atomic Energy Act. Consequently, created specifically for that purpose.

Particularly, the Atomic Energy Act prohibits any kind of disclosure or exchange of classified nuclear information that could potentially hurt the United States, or even create an advantage for a foreign country.

Premeditated Crime

According to the charge by FBI, Jonathan Toebbe already sent a classified information package on April the 1st, 2020. He sent the data to an unknown foreign government, with the intent of further cooperation. The report also states that the engineer started the communication with an encrypted email. Believing that he was talking to a foreign government representative.

The married couple tried to sell the classified info three times between the 8th of June and the 9th of October, 2021. Unfortunately for them, each of the three meetings was in the presence of an undercover government agent. Eventually, handing him over all of the incriminating evidence against them.

This includes an encrypted SD card, which was hidden in a chewing gum pack and a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich. In addition, the couple also handed an SD card to the undercover agent. This contained certain classified info about US submarine nuclear reactors.

After receiving the $100.000 monero payment, the US Naval nuclear engineer and his wife were apprehended by the authorities. The joint operation was executed in coordination between the FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Mr and Mrs Toebbes have to appear for their trial in the federal court of Martinsburg in West Virginia, this upcoming Tuesday.



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