US Citizen Arrested for Espionage

US Citizen Arrested for Espionage

( – On August 17, Russian authorities arrested an American citizen named Gene Spector on suspicion of espionage. Spector was already serving a prison sentence in the Eurasian nation on a bribery conviction. According to Russian state-run news agency Tass, a Moscow court ordered Spector’s “immediate” arrest. The news agency pointed out Spector is a businessman born and raised in Russia before migrating to the United States.

According to media outlet Interfax, Russian authorities haven’t provided more details about the charges against Spector. Interfax stated that a hearing was already held in secret as the evidence against the US businessman was considered “classified.”

Back in 2021, he pleaded guilty to arranging a bribe on behalf of an assistant to a Russian deputy prime minister as he was the head of the Medpolimerprom company group in Russia. As reported by different media outlets, the bribe compassed funding trips for the assistant to the Dominican Republic and Thailand. While Russian authorities sentenced Spector to four years in prison, he faced a new trial because of a procedural issue and was then re-sentenced in 2022 to three and a half years in prison.

Spector’s arrest comes at a moment when tensions between the White House and the Kremlin are at their highest since the end of the Cold War due to the war in Ukraine. The arrest also comes as the Biden administration is making efforts to release two other Americans that are also imprisoned in Russia — former US Marine Paul Whelan and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Whelan was sentenced by Russian authorities to 16 years of hard labor in a country’s prison for espionage in 2020. Gershkovich was detained by members of the FSB in March, also on espionage charges. This was the first time since the end of the Cold War that Russian authorities arrested an American journalist, following the case of US News & World Report’s Nicholas Daniloff in 1986.

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