: Guardian: Russian banker sentenced to prison in US for conspiracy in spy ring

11:32 May. 26, 2016

Guardian: Russian banker sentenced to prison in US for conspiracy in spy ring

In this courtroom sketch, Evgeny Buryakov, center, and his attorneys attend a federal court hearing, on March 11, 2016, in New York (AP photo)

Evgeny Buryakov pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as unregistered agent

A Russian banker who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in what the government portrayed as a cold war-style spy ring has been sentenced to two and a half years in a US prison.

Evgeny Buryakov, 41, also was fined USD 10,000 by US district judge Richard M Berman, who said the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and protects the public.

Prosecutors said he teamed up with diplomats to gather sensitive economic intelligence on potential US sanctions against Russian banks and on US efforts to develop alternative energy resources. The activities occurred from 2012 through January 2015.

The case was announced less than five years after the arrest of 10 covert agents. The sleeper cell was referred to as "The Illegals" by the foreign intelligence agency based in Moscow. Its members led ordinary lives for several years in the US using aliases.

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