Former top U.S. airman convicted of bribery and money laundering
A former top U-2 spy working for the Central Intelligence Agency was convicted of a slew of crimes over a decade, including bribery and fraud.
Robert J. Baer, 59, was found guilty Friday in a U.K. court of a raft of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Baers was accused of stealing more than $2.5 million from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to purchase the services of top diplomats and intelligence officials.
The charges stem from a decades-long probe that began in 2002.
In 2015, the U-6 group, one of the largest spy networks in the world, was disbanded by the Trump administration.
Trump has said the U 6 was disbanded because of the spy network’s ties to Iran.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The U.2 group, founded by the Soviet Union, was the first group of Americans to operate in the Middle East and Asia.
Baerts trial comes after more than a decade of investigations by U.s. agencies and lawmakers.
He is charged with stealing more that $2 million from a U-4 mission in Oman, money that was used to buy lavish apartments and luxury cars for the agency’s top brass.
The fraud, which came to light in 2003, was uncovered when Baer and two other agents were arrested in Thailand.
Baerbys trial is expected to last at least two weeks, though he faces up to 15 years in prison.
In addition to the fraud, Baer was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and bribery for accepting bribes from three people, including a woman who he had met through a business venture.
The woman pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving money from Baer to settle a personal debt.
She faces up a maximum of 30 years in jail.
The three people charged are: a woman accused of accepting bribes in exchange for providing the agency with information on Baer’s alleged links to Iran; two men accused of providing the information to Baer; and a man accused of using Baer as a “consular agent.”
Baer also faces a charge that he lied about his job and immigration status.
His lawyer has called his trial a sham and said he has never been a spy.