SPY CASES - UNITED STATES

Trofimoff

Materials arranged chronologically.

Chachere, Vickie. "Top Military Man Alleged to Be Spy." Associated Press, 14 Jun. 2000. [http://www.infobeat.com]

On 14 June 2000, George Trofimoff, a retired Army Reserve colonel, was charged with spying for the Soviet Union and Russia for 25 years. Trofimoff allegedly sold classified material to the Russians while serving as the civilian chief of the U.S. Army Element of the Nuremburg Joint Interrogation Center in Germany from 1969 to 1994. He retired from his Army civilian job in 1995. The FBI and prosecutors said that Trofimoff was paid $250,000 over the course of his spy career, and was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the Soviet award presented for "bravery and self-sacrifice in the defense of the socialist homeland."

According to the indictment, "Trofimoff was recruited into the KGB by a boyhood friend, Igor Vladimirovich Susemihl, a Russian Orthodox priest who served as the Archbishop of Vienna and Austria and temporary Archbishop of Baden and Bavaria. Trofimoff allegedly took documents from his work and photographed them, passing the film on to Susemihl and other KGB officers during meetings in Austria. The indictment also notes eight meetings between Trofimoff and KGB officers, naming the KGB agents in three instances."

Marquis, Christopher. "Ex-Army Employee Charged With Spying for Russia for at Least 25 Years." New York Times, 15 Jun. 2000. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Donna Bucella, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, "declined to estimate the damage wrought" by George Trofimoff's suspected spying. Nevertheless, "several factors suggested a major security breach, including the sensitivity of the Nuremberg center, a NATO facility staffed by Germans, British, French and Americans;... Trofimoff's clearance to view virtually any documents, and his longevity in the job."

Long, Phil. "Spy Suspect Bragged of Deeds, Prosecutor Says." Miami Herald, 21 Jun. 2000. [http://www.herald.com]

On 30 June 2000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Furr asked a federal magistrate in Tampa to keep George Trofimoff in jail while awaiting trial. "Furr detailed how the U.S. government got on the accused spy's trail, and the trap that federal agents laid for him that led to his arrest. The heart of the government's case is "a six-hour interview in Melbourne [Florida] in February 1999, during which the prosecutor said Trofimoff spoke freely about spying for the Soviets for 25 years, beginning in Germany in 1969.... Western intelligence agencies got on Trofimoff's trail, Furr said, following the 1992 defection to Britain of former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin."

Marquis, Christopher. "Retired Army Employee, 74, Is Found Guilty of Spying." New York Times, 27 Jun. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 26 June 2001, a jury at a federal court in Florida convicted George Trofimoff of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia over at least 25 years.

Long, Phil. "Former Intelligence Officer Gets Life Sentence in Tampa." Miami Herald, 27 Sep. 2001. [http://www.miami.com]

On 27 September 2001, George Trofimoff was sentenced to life in prison.

Byers, Andy J. The Imperfect Spy: The Inside Story of a Convicted Spy. St. Petersbueg, FL: Vandamere, 2005.

Keiser, Proceedings 132.3 (Mar. 2006), says the author "has written a remarkable history of [George] Trofimoff's background and life as a spy.... The Imperfect Spy is a good read." For Peake, Studies 50.3 (Sep. 2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), the author "tells an awful story well." The story of why Trofimoff did what he did, "how he worked for his foster brother, a KGB agent; and the damage he inflicted makes exciting reading. The Imperfect Spy is a distressing story, but a worthy contribution to counterintelligence literature."

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