Russian pleads guilty to spying in US

Russian pleads guilty to spying in US

A 41-year-old Russian man on Friday pleaded guilty to posing as a banker in New York to spy on behalf of Moscow.

Evgeny Buryakov, who was arrested in January 2015 on charges of spying for Russia, admitted to having acted as a covert agent for the Kremlin’s foreign intelligence service, gathering information on looming sanctions against Russian banks and American efforts to develop alternative sources of energy.

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His story “sounds like a plotline for a Cold War-era movie,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who handled the case, said in a statement.

“More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, Russian spies still seek to operate in our midst under the cover of secrecy,” Bharara added. “But in New York, thanks to the work of the FBI and the prosecutors in my office, attempts to conduct unlawful espionage will not be overlooked.”

Federal documents showed that Buryakov worked as an undercover spy for a Russian bank beginning in at least 2012.

Two other Russians were accused of spying for Russia along with Buryakov. They both had diplomatic immunity from the charges and left the country.  

A federal investigation into the suspected ring of Russian spies began after the 2010 arrest of 10 sleeper agents who led undercover lives in the U.S. for years while secretly communicating intelligence back to Moscow.

It is illegal to act on behalf of a foreign government in the U.S. without notifying the Justice Department.

Buryakov faces up to five years in prison.