Spying and Laundering Money

As reported by the Associated Press, ten people were charged with “conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. attorney general.”

The typical word for this is acting as a spy.

Most people probably understand that many, if not all, governments utilize spies in an attempt to gather various pieces of what they consider valuable information that might allow them to have an upper hand.

As a sidenote, corporate America also participates in industrial espionage, again in an attempt to be on top.

The AP article goes on to say that the maximum sentence, if convicted of said conspiracy, is five years in prison.

A message to two of the accused spies, allegedly from the Russion government, states their marching orders are to collect information in a variety of potentially damaging areas, “including nuclear weapons, U.S. arms control positions, Iran, White House rumors, CIA leadership turnover, the last presidential election, Congress and the political parties.”

The accused people have evidently been acting covertly for years, as some of the evidence presented against them at arraignment goes back to at least the year 2000.

It does seem odd that if proven true that these people were spies and had been doing so for a decade that they would spend less time in prison than they did gathering information.

Further, nine of the ten were also “charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.”

That sentence carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Excuse this citizen for asking, but how is it that a spy who, hypothetically, gathered intel such as information on Amercia’s nuclear weapons and arms control positions that could possibly allow a foreign power access to highly classified secrets and potentially cause damage to U.S. national security be less of a threat and carry less of a penalty than laundering money?

Over For Now.

Main Street One