Gregory Allen Justice had a sick wife, a job at which he felt unappreciated and a fascination with cinematic secret operatives such as Jason Bourne and James Bond. He had a special love for “The Americans,” the FX series about KGB spies in the United States.
As an engineer on the night shift at a large defense contractor, Justice, 49, of Culver City had access to sensitive technical data about military and commercial satellites, according to federal authorities. He was arrested Thursday on charges that he sold information to a man he believed was an agent of Russian intelligence.
He told the supposed spy — who was really an undercover FBI agent — that he needed money to pay his wife’s mounting medical bills, according to an FBI affidavit. But he sent thousands of dollars — including much of what he got from the FBI — to a mysterious woman in a Long Beach apartment who entreated him for cash and gifts, said the affidavit, which identified her as “C.M.”
From December 2015 to May 2016, the FBI said, Justice sent C.M. more than $21,000 in FedEx envelopes, and over the past year and a half, sent her gifts that included a Dyson fan, a Vizio television, a purse, a blanket and another TV, as well as money for a $900 iPhone, the FBI said.
Now being held without bail in federal custody, Justice could face 15 years in prison if convicted on a charge of economic espionage, plus 20 years on charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act, the government said.
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