“The information [Jonathan] Toebbe turned over included details of the design, operations and performance of Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactors…”
Authorities charged Navy engineer Jonathan Toebbe, who has top-secret clearance, and his wife Diana for allegedly trying to sell nuclear submarine technology secrets to a foreign country:
The information Toebbe turned over included details of the design, operations and performance of Virginia-class nuclear submarine reactors, according to court papers. Virginia-class subs carry cruise missiles and incorporate “the latest in stealth, intelligence-gathering, and weapons system technology,” according to court papers. Each costs about $3 billion to build.
The unsealed documents did not name the foreign country:
The documents allege that in April 2020, Mr. Toebbe sent a mail package containing U.S. Navy documents, instructions and an SD card to a foreign government. The FBI obtained the package in December 2020, the court filings said.
The foreign country isn’t named in the court documents. It couldn’t immediately be determined whether it was a U.S. friend or rival.
The package included guidance on how to use an encrypted communication platform, along with other documents. Mr. Toebbe marked the information as confidential and asked for it to be forwarded to the other country’s military agency, the documents said.
“I believe this information will be of great value to your nation,” he said in the letter, according to the court documents.
It was dated April 1, 2020, April Fool’s day. “This is not a hoax,” he added in his note.
The FBI said Toebbe used an encrypted platform that many use to conceal their identity and location.
The agent who intercepted Toebbe’s messages pretended to be an agent in the foreign country. The FBU offered Toebbe a gift, but he refused to meet face-to-face.
Toebbe asked for $100,000 in cryptocurrency: “Please remember I am risking my life for your benefit.”
The FBI paid Toebbe $100,000 by August 2021:
The FBI and Mr. Toebbe in further exchanges discussed how the payment and delivery of documents could occur. Eventually the FBI paid $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Mr. Toebbe under a pseudonym as a show of good faith, the court documents say.
Mr. Toebbe went ahead with a dead drop of documents in West Virginia, where he was observed by the FBI, the documents say. His wife accompanied him, the court records show. The drop of data was carried out by the SD card left in a peanut butter sandwich.
The contents of the card were examined by a Navy subject matter expert, who determined it contained militarily sensitive details about Virginia-class submarine reactors.
The FBI then paid Toebbe $20,000. Toebbe followed with two more dead drops using a Band-Aid wrappers and gum packages.
Toebbe dropped off “a decryption key to read the contents of one of the data cards” after the FBI gave him $70,000.DONATE
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