Teacher pleads guilty in plot to sell nuclear submarine secrets — Analysis
Diana Toebbe, accused of aiding her husband to sell US Navy classified data to FBI undercover agents
A former US Navy nuclear engineer’s wife pleaded guilty in a conspiracy to transfer restricted data to foreign nations for thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrency.
Maryland teacher Diana Toebbe plead guilty Friday “conspiracy to communicate Restricted Data related to the design of nuclear-powered warships,”Just days later, her husband Jonathan Toebbe (ex-Navy engineer) pleaded guilty the same charges.
They were both arrested in October 2021, after receiving $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency from FBI agents pretending to be representatives for a foreign power. According to reports, the two men kept the sensitive information on memory cards in an unopened packet of gum. They also hid the peanut butter sandwich and jelly sandwich inside. These were later dropped at several locations throughout the US.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) said Diana Toebbe “served as a lookout while her husband serviced three ‘dead-drops.’”Jonathan Toebbe, who was at that time working on the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, held a national safety clearance.
Though Diana Toebbe’s charge typically holds a penalty of up to life in prison, her sentence will be no longer than 36 months, according to a plea agreement. In the beginning, she pleaded guilty. Her husband is facing between 12-17 years imprisonment.
Jonathan Toebbe, according to the DOJ “sent a package to a foreign government”Which contained “a sample of Restricted Data and instructions for establishing a covert relationship to purchase additional Restricted Data.”
“Jonathan Toebbe began corresponding via encrypted email with an individual whom he believed to be a representative of the foreign government. The individual was really an undercover FBI agent,”The DOJ claimed that Toebbe ultimately agreed to sell data. “thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.”
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