Secrets for crypto: Ex-NSA worker could be executed if found guilty

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A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee could face life in prison or a possible death sentence after apparently attempting to sell US defense secrets to Russia in exchange for crypto.

According to an affidavit filed earlier this week, 30-year-old Jareh Sebastian Dalke tried to sell three separate classified files — two of which were stamped ‘top secret’ — to an unnamed foreign government.

While the government that Dalke attempted to deal with hasn’t technically been confirmed, the affidavit revealed that he attempted to verify his buyer’s legitimacy by communicating with a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) TOR site.

The files in question relate specifically to sensitive US defense capabilities, plans to update a certain cryptographic program, and assessments of foreign government military strength.

In exchange for the secret files, Dalke is said to have asked for payment in crypto and at one point requested $85,000 worth of digital currency.

Unfortunately for Dalke, the ‘foreign agent’ he was conspiring with turned out to be an undercover FBI operative, and he was arrested.

Like the government in question, court documents don’t disclose Dalke’s supposed crypto of choice but they do detail how he was allegedly sent 0.64053413 units worth $99.99 by the FBI in order to confirm the wallet address.

Online sleuths have since pointed out that the amount of crypto and the money received by Dalke closely matched Monero’s value at the time ~$97 on August 24.

Read more: That couple who sold US nuclear sub plans for Monero have pleaded guilty

Dalke allegedly funneled funds into a Kraken account

Dalke is said to have received a second crypto payment from the FBI, bringing his total received to 31.4185 units. It’s alleged that Dalke transferred this crypto into a Kraken account listed under his real name.

Kraken operates a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) policy and when pressed by law enforcement, the exchange revealed:

  • a Colorado address associated with Dalke,
  • a telephone number that matches the number on his NSA employment records,
  • his passport and social security details.

The NSA also suggest that Dalke was the only individual at the NSA to have printed all three relevant classified files in June, 2022.

Dalke promised more files if he got his old job back

Dalke initially become an NSA employee on June 6 before quitting later that month. He reapplied for an NSA role in August but was turned down. Then on July 29, Dalke is alleged to have started conversations with the undercover FBI agent as he looked to sell state secrets in exchange for crypto.

On August 6, Dalke is alleged to have sent three excerpts from the classified files to determine his payment and prove his “legitimate access and willingness to share.” It’s also claimed he promised the undercover agent more classified files if he ever returned to the NSA.

After the crypto was sent to Dalke’s alleged Kraken account, it’s claimed he converted the crypto into US dollars before sending it to a Colorado bank account owned by himself.

Then in September 2022, the FBI agent began to plan a meeting meant for the transferring of the classified documents in Washington. However, Dalke was hesitant about the location and wanted to meet elsewhere.

The agent offered instead to meet up on September 28 at Union Square in Denver and Dalke agreed. Dalke was finally arrested later that day at the meet-up point.

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