Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, residents of Jefferson County, Virginia, were arrested last Saturday (9) by the FBI. The couple will respond in court for the accusation of espionage and for selling confidential files from the american navy in exchange for US$100 (about R$554 at the current price) in the cryptocurrency monero.

Jonathan was an engineer for the naval nuclear program. The couple, who according to authorities had committed the crime since 2020, was identified by an FBI police officer disguised as an agent of a foreign government.

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Engineer had access to confidential files

FBI agent fiddling with a computer
Couple was identified by an undercover FBI officer. Image: Dzelat/Shutterstock

One of the advantages of the 42-year-old engineer's position was the ability to access restricted data from the Navy's nuclear projects, which also included a lot of confidential military information. With these files saved on other storage devices, Jonathan traded them over the internet through encrypted email addresses.

In June, the FBI agent made a first transfer of $10 in cash to the couple. The amount was related to a negotiation that started in April 2020. 

Days later, Jonathan hid an SD card with government files in a sandwich. To gain the criminal's trust, the FBI agent sent another $20 in cryptocurrencies.

“A review of the SD card revealed that it contained restricted data related to subsea nuclear reactors,” the authorities described.

In late August, Jonathan repeated the same practice. This time, the policeman made a last financial operation equivalent to US$ 70 thousand in monero.

Finally, the FBI arrested the pair last Saturday in a new attempt at the crime in another part of the city. Now, the couple will face court for the first time in Berkeley County this Tuesday (12).

Source: WBALTV

Main Image Credits: ING Studio1985/Shutterstock

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