A Culver City man who worked for a South Bay defense contractor was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for his guilty plea to economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act by selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be a Russian spy.
Gregory Allen Justice, who told an undercover investigator he was enamored with Jason Bourne, James Bond and the television spy thriller “The Americans,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu, who said it was “extremely troubling” that Justice was willing to sell the secrets to the Russians because it is well known that their government “is not friendly to this country.”
Justice, 49, pleaded guilty in May to charges stemming from an undercover sting operation in which he sold sensitive satellite information to an FBI agent masquerading as a Russian intelligence officer.
Although prosecutors have never revealed Justice’s employer, published reports have quoted his father as saying Justice was an engineer who worked for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo.
During their probe, FBI investigators examined Justice’s work computers and his activities mailing packages at FedEx, reviewed websites he accessed, checked his bank statements and bugged his car, listening to him rant to himself about his wife.
Began down spy path in 2013
Justice began his path toward espionage in 2013, and over the next two years would spend $4,000 for online courses that included “Spy Escape and Evasion,” “Delta Defense,” and “Legally Concealed,” authorities said.
Justice received $3,500 in cash in exchange for providing the trade secrets during a series of meetings over six months in 2016, according to court documents. Justice “understood that the information he provided would be sent ‘back to Moscow and they will review this,’ ” the documents stated.
“I can give you access to everything over time,” he told the undercover agent, according to court documents. “Everything military is on the commercial servers.”
During their final meeting, according to the documents, Justice offered to take the undercover agent on a tour of his employer’s production facility, and the would-be Russian intelligence officer could wear glasses that would allow him to photograph the facility.
Said he needed money for ill wife
Although he told the would-be Russian spy he needed money to care for his ailing wife, bank records showed Justice was actually spending his money…