Monday, December 5th, 2022

Army major, doctor wife charged in plot to give Russia medical information

Army major, doctor wife charged in plot to give Russia medical information
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A sign of Fort Bragg is seen in Fayetteville, North Carolina September 26, 2014.

Chris Keane | Reuters

A U.S. Army major doctor and their physician wife have been charged with a criminal plot to give confidential medical information related to members of the U.S. military and their spouses to the Russian government, court records show.

The couple, Major Jamie Lee Henry and anaesthesiologist Anna Gabrielian, were named in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore charging them with conspiracy to disclose health information.

Henry was a staff internist at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, who had secret security clearance, while Gabrielian is on the staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, according to the hospital’s web page. That pages notes that Gabrielian speaks both English and Russian.

Henry in 2015 was reported to be the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender.

The indictment said Henry and Gabrielian believed they would be giving medical information related to patients at Fort Bragg and Johns Hopkins to a person working at the Russian embassy in Washington.

In reality, that other person was an undercover FBI agent who had approached Gabrielian in mid-August and asked her about the assistance she had offered to the Russian embassy several months earlier. Gabrlelian met that agent in a Baltimore hotel room on Aug. 17, the indictment says.

During that meeting, she told the FBI agent “she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail,” the indictment says.

Later that same day, she called the agent “to reaffirm” the couple “were committed to helping Russia,” the indictment alleges.

The charging document accuses the couple of providing medical information related to patients at Fort Bragg and Johns Hopkins to demonstrate their level of access to such information of “U.S. personnel,” and to show “the potential for the Russian government to gain insights into the medical conditions of individuals associated with the U.S. government and military, to exploit this information.”

The couple allegedly discussed with the agent the need for them “to maintain ‘plausible deniability’ regarding their interactions.”

“Gabrilelian suggested a cover story for their interactions, and a plan for Gabrielian and Henry’s children flee the U.S. quickly if Gabrielian and Henry were told to act in a way that could expose their communications and actions to the U.S. government,” the indictment says.

Gabrilelian allegedly told the agent on Aug. 17 that she was willing to “provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail.”

At that same meeting, Gabrelian allegedly told the agent that Henry “was currently a more important source for Russia than she was, since Henry had more helpful information, including on how the U.S. military establishes an army hospital in war conditions, and about previous training the U.S. military provided to Ukrainian military personnel.”

When Gabrielian and Henry jointly met with the agent at the hotel on the night of Aug. 17, the indictment says.

“During that meeting, Henry explained to the [undercover agent that they were] committed to assisting Russia, and he had looked into volunteering to join the Russian Army after the conflict in Ukraine began, but Russia wanted people with ‘combat experience,’ and he did not have any,” the indictment said.

“Henry further stated: ‘the way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now, is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia,’ ” the charging document alleges.

Spokesmen for the Army, the Department of Justice and Johns Hopkins did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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