An engineer for a defense contractor in California has pleaded guilty to selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed was a Russian spy, federal authorities say.
Gregory Allen Justice, 49, entered the pleas on May 22 to two felonies, admitting economic espionage and violating the Arms Export Control Act.
He could be sent to federal prison for up to 35 years.
The name of the defense contractor was not disclosed.
Federal authorities said the man provided an undercover FBI agent with proprietary software technology and other information for use in satellites.
Court documents show he was paid $500 to $1,000 during each of several meetings last year.
The document indicate he told the undercover agent he needed money to pay his ailing wife's extensive medical bills.
He was arrested in July. Authorities said he began his espionage efforts in 2013, when he started paying more than $4,000 for a two-year online course that included topics such as Spy Escape And Evasion, Delta Defense, and Legally Concealed.