WASHINGTON – A Virginia man and former Army Green Beret was sentenced today to 188 months in prison for conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to provide them with U.S. national defense information. Peter Rafael Dzibinski Debbins, 46, of Gainesville, admitted to conspiring with agents of a Russian intelligence service. According to court documents, from December 1996 to January 2011, Debbins periodically visited Russia and met with Russian intelligence agents. In 1997, Debbins was assigned a code name by Russian intelligence agents and signed a statement attesting that he wanted to serve Russia. “Debbins violated his oath as a U.S. Army officer, betrayed the Special Forces, and endangered our country’s national security by revealing classified information to Russian intelligence officers, providing details of his unit, and identifying Special Forces team members for Russian intelligence to try to recruit them as spies,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “His conduct is a personal betrayal of colleagues and country, and it reflects the threat of Russian intelligence operations targeting our military. Today’s almost 16-year sentence reflects the seriousness of his conduct. It should also serve as a warning to those who would be tempted to do the same.”
A CVS employee in Long Island, New York, was arrested this week for stealing Covid-19 vaccination cards to distribute, Nassau County Police said Thursday, one of a growing number of people facing consequences for pushing fraudulent vaccination cards as the fake documents become a looming threat to the country’s effort to eradicate the coronavirus. Zachary Honig, 21, was arrested Tuesday on charges including petit larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument after taking eight pre-filled vaccination cards and 54 blank ones, and CVS said in a statement they had terminated his employment and were cooperating with investigators.
Not all insider threats which become reality are associated with intellectual property theft or economic espionage; sometimes it is plain greed. Such is the case of Varita V. Quincy, a military contractor recently sentenced to 51 months in prison for her role in a theft ring operating on a U.S. military installation in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2015. She was also ordered to pay $179,708 in restitution. Post-guilty plea, Quincy continued her criminal behavior and submitted false documents to the court to include forging letters of support and altering submitted letters of support. In fact, she took letters which had been written in support of her employment application for Atlanta’s MARTA and altered them for submission to the court. These acts of subterfuge garnered her a longer sentence than that of her co-conspirator, Larry Green, who was sentenced to 41 months incarceration.
First off, don’t worry, Coca-Cola’s super-secret trade secret recipe is still safe. But on April 22, 2021, a jury in the Eastern District of Tennessee convicted a former Coca-Cola employee, Dr. Xiaorong (a/k/a Shannon) You, of stealing trade secrets related to BPA-free coatings for the inside of beverage cans for the Chinese Government. The Indictment alleged that the trade secret information cost almost $120 million to develop. The twelve-day in-person trial focused not just on the former employee’s wrong doing, but also on some the best practices Coca-Cola and Eastman Chemical Company used to protect the trade secrets at issue. Dr. You worked as a Principal Engineer for Global Research at Coca-Cola from 2012 to 2017, where she had access to the BPA-free related trade secrets. According to the Indictment, before departing from Coca-Cola, You opened files containing trade secrets on her computer and took photos of her desktop to bypass Coca-Cola’s security measures. She also transferred other trade secret information to an external hard drive.
University researcher sentenced to prison for lying on grant applications to develop scientific expertise for China
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A rheumatology professor and researcher with strong ties to China was sentenced to 37 months in prison for making false statements to federal authorities as part of an immunology research fraud scheme. As part of his sentence, Song Guo Zheng, 58, of Hilliard, was also ordered to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and approximately $413,000 to The Ohio State University. Zheng was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020, after he arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, aboard a charter flight and as he prepared to board another charter flight to China. When he was arrested, Zheng was carrying three large bags, one small suitcase and a briefcase containing two laptops, three cell phones, several USB drives, several silver bars, expired Chinese passports for his family, deeds for property in China and other items.