Prominent Scientist's Guilty Plea: Attempted Espionage; Probe Not Rocket Science for FBI

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 8, 2011 | Go to article overview

Prominent Scientist's Guilty Plea: Attempted Espionage; Probe Not Rocket Science for FBI


Byline: Jim McElhatton, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Stewart Nozette, once a prominent scientist for NASA who served on the Space Council under President George H.W. Bush, pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted espionage, a case that attracted widespread notice but began as a seemingly routine fraud investigation.

Today, he is a disgraced criminal who was caught red-handed attempting to trade American secrets for personal profit, said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. attorney for the District, after Nozette, 54, pleaded guilty to giving classified information to an undercover FBI agent.

But when the federal investigation into Nozette began back in 2006, there was no hint he was capable of selling U.S. secrets, according to court records.

Instead, NASA's office of inspector general began looking into Nozette because of questions about the finances of a nonprofit organization he ran called the Alliance for Competitive Technology, which charged NASA for work he was performing for the space agency.

The numbers weren't adding up. While NASA said the alliance invoiced the agency for Nozette's $141,718 salary, records showed the nonprofit group reported less than $20,000 in salary expenses on its 2004 report to the Internal Revenue Service. When reviewing the nonprofit organization's bank records, an agent for the inspector general uncovered numerous personal expenses.

The investigator found payments for utilities, three mortgages, nine credit cards, the La Jolla, Calif., Tennis Club, pool cleaning and the Mercedes-Benz Credit Corp.

In 2006, The Washington Times reported that federal authorities had subpoenaed bank records from Nozette's nonprofit group.

The Justice Department, filing papers on behalf of the inspector general, said Nozette's organization didn't comply with a request for bank records and tax documents.

That was around the time the investigation took a sharp turn.

When federal agents later raided Nozette's house, they found classified documents that led them to a 2002 email in which Nozette threatened to take a classified program on which he was working to an unnamed foreign country or to Israel.

The FBI then launched a separate undercover investigation into Nozette over potential espionage.

An undercover agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer called Nozette on Sept. 3, 2009, and set up a meeting that day in front of the Mayflower hotel in Washington.

Over the next few weeks, FBI agents gave cash to Nozette in exchange for information he provided on a classified satellite, weapons-system research and other secret national security matters. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Prominent Scientist's Guilty Plea: Attempted Espionage; Probe Not Rocket Science for FBI
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.