Evgeny Buryakov entered the plea in federal court in New York City on Friday, just weeks before he was scheduled for trial on the conspiracy charge, Justice officials announced.
Buryakov, 41, a pseudo-employee of a Russian bank in New York, conspired to work as a non-official cover operative of the Russian Federation without gaining prior authorization from the office of then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder four years ago.
The Justice Department said Buryakov began working as an agent for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service in 2012 — posing as an employee of the Russian bank Vnesheconombank while working as a NOC operative under the guise of private citizenship inside the United States.
Such non-official agents are permitted to operate within the United States, but are required by federal law to provide prior notification to the Attorney General. That did not happen in Buryakov’s case.
“Foreign nations who attempt to illegally gather economic and other intelligence information through espionage pose a direct threat to U.S. national security,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said Friday. “The National Security Division will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and hold accountable those who illegally operate as covert agents within the United States. READ MORE OF THIS STORY