Former U.S. Agent Guilty of Spying for Soviets

ByABC News
June 26, 2001, 1:35 PM

T A M P A, Fla., June 26 -- A former U.S. intelligenceagent was convicted today of spying for the Soviet Unionduring the Cold War by selling thousands of U.S. militarydocuments to the Soviet secret police.

A federal jury in Tampa deliberated less than two hoursbefore finding George Trofimoff, 74, guilty of espionage. Hewas charged with selling secret U.S. military documents to theSoviet KGB while he was chief of the U.S. Army JointInterrogation Center in Nuremberg, Germany, from 1969 to 1994.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew set sentencing for Sept.27. Trofimoff faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Videotape of Meeting

The key evidence against him was a videotape of ameeting he had in 1999 with an FBI undercover agent posing as aRussian spy.

In the videotape, which was shown to the jury,Trofimoff described how he took documents from his office tohis home, photographed them and sold the film to the KGB.

Trofimoff denied he was a spy. During his three-week trial,he testified that he lied during the meeting with theundercover agent in hopes of getting money from the Russians.

"The whole story was a lie," Trofimoff testified onMonday.

Trofimoff was born in Germany to Russian parents. He becamea U.S. citizen and retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as acolonel, making him the highest-ranking officer ever chargedwith espionage. He moved to Melbourne, Fla., in 1995 and wasworking as a grocery store bag boy until his arrest last June.

Prosecutors say Trofimoff was recruited as a spy by hisfoster brother Igor Susemihl, a priest in the Russian OrthodoxChurch who was also a KGB agent. Susemihl died in 1999.

A former KGB officer identified Trofimoff at the trial andsaid he met with Trofimoff twice during the 1970s to discusshis espionage activity.