Former FBI agent Richard Miller was convicted a second time of selling out his country to a Soviet seductress for sex and promises of cash and gold.
U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi, who heard the case without a jury, on Tuesday rejected Miller's claim that he romanced Svetlana Ogorodnikov in a self-styled attempt to infiltrate the KGB.Miller, 54, is the only agent in FBI history to be convicted of espionage.
The conviction on charges of passing secrets to the Soviets came after six years and three trials in which prosecutors portrayed him as a weak man lured into treason by lust and greed.
The jury at his first trial deadlocked, and the guilty verdict at his second trial was overturned on grounds that lie detector evidence was improperly admitted.
Miller, who already has served five years in prison, could get up to two life terms plus 50 years at sentencing Jan. 7.
"I'm dumbfounded. I didn't expect this outcome. I really didn't," he said.
The judge conceded that Miller may have first dreamed of using his romance with the Soviet agent to infiltrate the KGB. But he concluded that Miller ultimately became the tool of Ogorodnikov, a Russian emigre.
Takasugi said the strongest evidence against Miller was an FBI tape recording of Miller and Ogorodnikov. The judge said the conversation clearly demonstrated her dominance over the agent.
In that discussion, Miller was heard telling his lover, "You've stolen my heart," to which Ogorodnikov responded, "That's my job."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Schiff said Miller agreed to accept $50,000 in gold and $15,000 in cash.
Defense attorney Joel Levine had argued that the obese, inept Miller was an FBI misfit who tried to redeem a 20-year career by infiltrating the KGB.
The prosecutor argued Miller was ripe for recruitment when Ogorodnikov lured him with sex and money in 1984. By then, he said, Miller had been repeatedly suspended for obesity, he was plagued by financial problems, had been excommunicated from the Mormon Church and his marriage was falling apart.