US Scientist Confesses to Attempted Espionage

Steven Nozette to serve 13 years for trying to sell secrets to Israel
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2011 4:16 AM CDT
This screen shot taken from NASA's web site shows an undated image of Stewart David Nozette. Nozette has admitted to attempting to sell US secrets to the Mossad in 2009.   (AP Photo/NASA - File)

(Newser) – Nearly two years after getting busted for trying to sell US technology secrets to Israel, a top American scientist has confessed to attempted espionage, reports the BBC. Stewart Nozette, who had high security clearances for years with NASA, the National Space Council, and the Department of Energy, will likely serve 13 years for agreeing to pass along high-level technologies that had cost the US government as much as $1 billion to develop.

Nozette thought he met with a Mossad officer in Washington in October 2009, but in fact it was an FBI agent. He asked for an Israeli passport and two payments of less than $10,000, agreeing to provide secret information regularly in exchange for more money. "I've crossed the Rubicon," Nozette allegedly told the undercover agent. "I've made a career choice." He had potentially faced the death penalty if he had been convicted on all four counts of espionage.

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