Moscow: An American Navy nuclear engineer has been arrested and charged with trying to pass classified information about US nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government, the US Justice Department says.
“For almost a year, Jonathan Toebbe, 42, aided by his wife, Diana, 45, sold information known as Restricted Data concerning the design of nuclear-powered warships to a person they believed was a representative of a foreign power. In actuality, that person was an undercover FBI agent. The Toebbes have been charged in a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Atomic Energy Act,” the Justice Department said on Sunday.
Jonathan Toebbe has worked as a nuclear engineer since 2012 and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, with the US Department of Defense has given him active national security clearance.
Toebbe had access to various classified information and passed several memory cards containing restricted data related to submarine nuclear reactors to the undercover FBI agent who he believed to be a representative of a foreign government. The FBI made cryptocurrency transfers to Toebbe in exchange for the data, according to the Justice Department.
Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, both from Maryland, were arrested in Jefferson County, West Virginia, on Saturday, after they placed yet another memory card at a prearranged “dead drop” location, according to the Justice Department.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) are now investigating the case.