Satellite Trade Secrets to Undercover Agent
On July 7, 2016, in the Central District of California, Gregory Allen Justice was arrested by FBI special agents on federal charges of economic espionage and violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) for his attempts to sell sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be a foreign intelligence agent. Justice worked for a cleared defense contractor as an engineer on military and commercial satellites during his alleged crimes. According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Justice stole proprietary trade secret materials from his employer and provided them to a person whom he believed to be a representative of a foreign intelligence service, but who was in fact an FBI undercover agent. In addition to their proprietary nature, the documents contained technical data covered by the U.S. Munitions List and therefore controlled for export from the United States under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, according to the allegations. In exchange for providing these materials, Justice allegedly sought and received cash payments. On May 22, 2017, Gregory Allen Justice pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to commit economic espionage and one count of attempting to violate the AECA; on Sep. 19, 2017, he was sentenced to 60 months in prison. This investigation was conducted by the FBI and AFOSI.