Investigators began looking at a possible espionage case against Stewart Nozette after they “found indications” in a separate case that he was working for a foreign government, an anonymous law enforcement official told the AP yesterday.
Yesterday, we told you about the possibility that Nozette, a top scientist charged with trying to pass secret information to a person he thought was an Israeli agent, traveled to India in January. The criminal complaint alleges he brought two computer thumb drives on a trip abroad that month, returning without them.
The official told the AP that suspicions of espionage were first raised after Nozette’s Maryland non-profit was investigated in 2006 for allegedly filing employee expense reports that it did not incur.
So if investigators “found indications” that Nozette was involved in espionage, but they ultimately set up a sting operation involving a phony Mossad agent, there seem to be two possibilities: The suspected espionage either wasn’t really happening, or it was but for some reason — perhaps lack of evidence — the Feds did not charge Nozette for that activity.
Before a January trip to unnamed Country A, the complaint alleges, Nozette claimed he would move to Israel or Country A and “tell them everything” he knew if the government tried to jail him in the non-profit case.