Russia Charges Another US Citizen With Spying

Gene Spector is already jailed in Russia after pleading guilty to bribery
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2023 6:12 AM CDT
Russia Charges Another US Citizen With Spying
Car passes the building of the Federal Security Service (FSB, Soviet KGB successor) in Lubyanskaya Square in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, July 24, 2017.   (AP Photo, File)

An American serving a 3.5-year prison sentence for bribery in Russia has now been charged with espionage. Gene Spector, a US citizen who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, allegedly admitted to bribing a former aide to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich last year. He was charged in 2020 with mediating a bribe for Anastasia Alekseyeva while serving as chairman of the board of directors of Medpolymerprom Group, a company specializing in cancer drugs. He pleaded guilty in 2021, receiving four years in prison, but was later retried on a technicality and received a new 3.5-year sentence last September, per CBS News. It's unclear what prompted the espionage charge. A hearing was held behind closed doors due to classified evidence, per Reuters.

An official at the US embassy in Moscow tells CNN that they have no information on the new charge. The US State Department said Thursday that it was aware of the development. "We are monitoring the situation but have no further comment at this time," it said. Spector is one of three Americans held on espionage charges in Russia. Evan Gershkovich, a journalist with the Wall Street Journal, was detained in Russia in March, while Paul Whelan, a former Marine, is serving a 16-year prison sentence following his arrest in Moscow in late 2018. The US government has said both men are wrongfully detained. It has not said the same about Spector. (More Russia stories.)

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