Wife of Navy Nuclear Engineer Pleads Guilty to Role in Sub Secrets Conspiracy

February 18, 2022 7:44 PM
Virginia-class submarine USS Vermont (SSN-792) as she returns home to Submarine Base New London on Thursday, on Dec. 24, 2020. US Navy Photo

An Annapolis, Md., woman pleaded guilty to attempting to sell secrets about U.S. submarines to a foreign country, days after her husband pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Diana Toebbe appeared in the District Court of Northern West Virginia Friday in order to plea guilty to her role in a conspiracy to sell classified information about the Virginia-class submarines to an unnamed country.

Toebbe and her husband, Jonathan, were arrested in October after the FBI conducted a nearly year-long investigation into the couple, which included FBI agents posing as representatives of the unnamed country and setting up multiple dead drops for Jonathan Toebbe to leave the classified information.

While initially charged with two counts of communicating restricted data and a count of conspiracy to communicate restricted data, as part of the plea agreement, the government will drop the two counts of communicating restricted data against Diana Toebbe, according to court documents.

In exchange for pleading guilty to conspiracy to communicate restricted data, the government agreed to a maximum prison sentence of 36 months, according to court documents. Although the plea is binding, the court can choose to not accept it, which would void the agreement.

Diana Toebbe, who acted as a lookout while her husband, Jonathan, used dead drops to give flash drives containing the classified information to FBI agents posing as representatives of the unnamed country, received a much lower sentence than Jonathan Toebbe, who pleaded guilty to the same charge on Monday.

Jonathan Toebbe faces a sentence of between 12.5 to 17.5 years for attempting to sell classified information to the unnamed country.

As with Toebbe’s plea agreement, Diana Toebbe will assist the FBI and other federal officials with finding all of the classified information, allow them to access all of her electronic devices and accounts and help them find the $100,000 the FBI paid the Toebbes in exchange for the classified information received during the dead drops set up the agency.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
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