A former campus radical who became a Pentagon lawyer and her labor activist husband were were found guilty Friday of spying against the United States.
Theresa Squillacote, 40, and Kurt Stand, 43, were convicted of conspiring to commit espionage, attempting espionage and illegally obtaining national defense documents. Squillacote also was convicted of making false statements to the federal government.
They could be sentenced to life in prison.
As the verdicts were read, attorneys for Squillacote, a former Defense Department lawyer, and her husband, a former labor union representative, stood by them with their hands on their shoulders. The couple did not visibly react to the verdicts.
"Justice was done in this jury's verdict," Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows, who prosecuted the case, said outside the courtroom. "The jury said that this conduct will simply not be tolerated."
Prosecutors said during the trial that the couple spied against their country for the former East Germany, the former Soviet Union, Russia and South Africa.
Witnesses testified that Squillacote passed secret Defense Department documents to an FBI undercover agent who posed as an intelligence officer for the government of South Africa.
Defense attorneys argued that the couple never provided classified material to foreign agents. A psychiatrist testified that the FBI entrapped Squillacote by exploiting her personality disorder in prodding her to turn over the Pentagon documents to the undercover agent.
Squillacote and Stand were arrested last October with James M. Clark and have been in prison ever since. The three had known one another since their days as members of leftist student organizations at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the early 1970s.
Federal prosecutors said East Germany recruited the three during their college days and, at the behest of their Communist spymasters, they sought jobs in and around government and stole and smuggled classified documents.
A 200-page FBI report on their alleged spy cell said that Stand was indoctrinated into Marxism as a child. Stand never held a government job but recruited others into spying during more than 20 years, according to prosecutors.
Clark, a former civilian Army employee, pleaded guilty during the summer and was a key prosecution witness. He testified that Squillacote and Stand told him that they were working with an East German spy named Lothar Ziemer. Clark said he had passed secret documents to the same man in the 1970s and '80s.
But Clark also testified that neither Stand nor Ms. Squillacote ever told him they gave Ziemer classified information.
Witnesses said the couple reported to Ziemer until 1990, the year East Germany collapsed and reunited with West Germany. They remained in contact with Ziemer until their arrest in 1997, the government alleged.
At one point, Squillacote was romantically involved with Ziemer, witnesses said.
The FBI began itsting operation in the fall of 1996 with a letter agents composed claiming to be from South African government official who was also a prominent Communist Party member.
Squillacote was hired as a Defense Department attorney in 1991 and granted secret security clearance. The four classified documents she allegedly passed to the FBI agent in January 1997 described arms transactions between various nations in 1994 and assessed U.S. troop strength and the speed at which they can be deployed to combat zones worldwide. One document contained information about U.S. nuclear weapons.