The USS nuclear engineer and his wife have been accused of exchanging sensitive US Navy secrets for cryptocurrencies.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the US FBI on October 8, Maryland-based married couple Jonathan and Diana Tobbe are planning to exchange sensitive information for $100,000 in Monero, the “most private cryptocurrency.”
Jonathan Tobbe worked on the Nuclear Power Plant Program as a former US Navy engineer. He was able to obtain access to sensitive material connected to the design of American atomic submarines due to the details of the task and the passage of the check in the US Department of Defense. Later, he attempted to sell it to a man who claimed to be a foreign citizen. The problem is that this “foreign citizen” is an undercover FBI agent.
When the FBI approached Tobbe under the pretense of another country’s authorities in an attempt to negotiate a contract to acquire more data and corroborate their suspicions, they discovered that he had provided them a piece of sensitive material. Tobbe, for his part, was well aware of what he was doing, only communicating with agents via encrypted e-mail.
During the communication, the pair sent data to the agent three times, each concealing it in an inconspicuous location. As a result, they handed up information saved on an SD card concealed in a pack of gum and half of a peanut butter sandwich to an FBI agent. The agents got knowledge on atomic reactors for US submarines from them.
The FBI agent first handed the couple $10,000 as a “goodwill gesture” and evidence of their genuine intentions. He had previously paid $20,000 for the info “in a sandwich.” After receiving another “portion” of sensitive material, the FBI handed Tobbe another $70,000, and he and his wife were successfully imprisoned.
Both will appear in federal court on October 12 and will be sentenced after that.