U.S. Navy Engineer Sold Submarine Secrets for $100,000 in XMR

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  • A nuclear engineer with the U.S. Navy allegedly sold military secrets for over $100,000 in XMR
  • Jonathan Toebbe and his wife Diana thought they were selling the info to a foreign power but it was undercover FBI officials
  • XMR was the chosen payment method due to its privacy features

A U.S. Navy employee and his wife allegedly sold information on nuclear-powered submarines to an undercover FBI agent in exchange for Monero (XMR). Jonathan and Diana Toebbe thought they were selling the top secret information to a foreign country but were instead the subjects of an FBI sting, with the pair arrested on Saturday. According to the FBI complaint, the couple were paid at least $100,000 in XMR tokens, with the coin chosen for its privacy features. Except of course the FBI were the ones sending it, so not all that private after all.

Engineer and Wife Sold Sub Secrets to FBI Investigators

Jonathan Toebbe, a nuclear engineer with the U.S. Navy, was arrested with his wife for allegedly sharing restricted military information “with the intent to injure the United States and to secure an advantage to a foreign nation.” The espionage act began over a year ago Jonathan Toebbe sent a package with the documents inside to an unnamed foreign country seeking to establish a “covert relationship”.

Following the apparent success of this enterprise, the couple engaged in a year-long pattern of selling sensitive information to an undercover FBI agent for tens of thousands of dollars in XMR tokens, according to the U.S. justice department. The information sold included data on Virginia-class submarines — vessels with the latest stealth, intelligence-gathering, and weapons systems technology — via so-called dead drops around the Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas.

Monero the Sensible Choice

Monero is described in the indictment as having “privacy-enhancing technologies that obfuscate transactions to achieve anonymity and fungibility”, according to the FBI’s complaint. It has long been associated with illegal activity, while its founder, Ricardo Spagnoli, was arrested in August over an outstanding legal issue unrelated to the XMR project or coin.