A noted U.S. scientist, was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison for attempted espionage, conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion, it was announced here Wednesday.
The Department of Justice said in a statement that Stewart David Nozette, 54, once worked for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the White House’s National Space Council.
It indicated that the sentence covered charges in two counts, including one where Nozette pleaded guilty of “attempted espionage for providing classified information to a person he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer” in September 2011.
It added that in the other case, he pleaded guilty in January 2009 “to fraud and tax charges stemming from more than USD 265,000 in false claims he submitted to the government”.
According to the statement, in addition to the prison term, Nozette was also ordered to pay more than USD 217,000 in restitution to the government agencies he defrauded.
Nozette has been in custody since his arrest for attempted espionage in October 2009. At the time, he was awaiting sentencing on the fraud and tax evasion charges.
FBI agents arrested Nozette following an undercover operation in which he provided classified materials on three occasions, including one that formed the basis for his guilty plea, it indicated.
The Justice noted that Nozette “was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury”.
“The indictment does not allege that the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf committed any offense under U.S. laws in this case,” the statement remarked.