Now That He Thinks Of It, Russian Banker Did Do A Bit Of Spying For The Mother Country

Evgeny Buryakov knows what we're talking about.

Fresh material! What a country!

In a totally expected plot twist worthy of the very worst John Le Carré novel, Evgeny Buryakov—seen last year at this time wearing a “USA” t-shirt and mocking the very idea that someone might do a little Cold War-style espionage—has changed his mind and pleaded guilty to doing just that. Preet Bharara can hardly believe the whole sordid tale himself.

“This sounds like a plotline for a Cold War-era movie,” Mr. Bharara continued, but in reality, he said, Mr. Buryakov pleaded guilty to a federal crime “for his role in just such a scheme.”

“More than two decades after the end of the Cold War, Russian spies still seek to operate in our midst under the cover of secrecy,” he added.

So what does a little light spying for Vlady Putin earn a guy? 20 years in the joint? Life? A date with the needle in Terra Haute? Not exactly.

Mr. Buryakov pleaded guilty to the first count, of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He will be sentenced on May 25.

Bank Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Work as Secret Russian Agent [NYT]