Harold James Nicholson "was arrested on 16 November 1996 at Dulles International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Switzerland. On his person were found rolls of film bearing images of Top Secret documents. Nicholson is the highest ranking Central Intelligence Agency officer (GS-15) charged with espionage to date. Counterintelligence officials believe that he began spying for Russian intelligence in June 1994 as he was completing a tour of duty as deputy station chief in Malaysia....
"Nicholson was charged with passing a wide range of highly classified information to Moscow, including biographic information on every CIA case officer trained between 1994 and 1996.... According to investigators, for two and a half years he had been hacking into the agencys computer system and providing the Russians with every secret he could steal. It is alleged that Nicholson received approximately $120,000 from the Russians over a two-year period.
"He came under suspicion in late 1995 when he failed a series of polygraph examinations. Further investigation revealed a pattern of extravagant spending, and an unusual pattern of foreign travel followed by large, unexplained bank deposits. Nicholson, who at the time was in the middle of a divorce and child custody battle, claimed that he did it for his children and to pay his bills. On 21 November  he was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. On 3 March 1997, Nicholson pleaded guilty under a plea agreement in which he admitted that he had been a Russian spy. On 6 June  he was sentenced ... to 23 years and seven months in prison." U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Security Service, Espionage Cases, 1975-2004: Summaries and Sources (Monterey, CA: Defense Personnel Security Research Center, 2004). A later element in this case was Nicholson's involvement of his son in trying to get money from the Russians for the work the elder Nicholson had done.
Nicholson - 1996 - 1997 (Arrest and Conviction)
Nicholson and His Son, Nathan
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