Former Akamai Employee, Thinking He Was Providing Trade Secrets to Israel, Will Plea Guilty To Criminal Economic Espionage
The Washington Post is reporting that a former employee of Akamai, a website content delivery company, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of foreign economic espionage for providing company trade secrets to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Elliot Doxer, 42, will admit to providing trade secrets from Cambridge-based Akamai Technologies Inc. over an 18-month period to the agent, whom he believed was an Israeli spy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said in a statement. A plea hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29.
Doxer, of Brookline, worked in Akamai’s finance department at the time he committed the alleged offenses. Prosecutors said he sent an email to the Israeli consulate in June 2006 and offered to provide any information he had access to in order to help that country in exchange for $3,000.
Doxer said his main goal was “to help our homeland and our war against our enemies,” prosecutors said.
Israeli officials contacted U.S. authorities about the offer. An FBI agent went undercover and posed as an Israeli agent in September 2007, and arranged to use a “dead drop” location to exchange information with Doxer to avoid detection. From then until March 2009, Doxer visited the drop location at least 62 times and provided an extensive list of Akamai’s customers and employees, including their full contact information, and contract details, according to prosecutors.
He also allegedly described Akamai’s physical and computer security systems and said he could travel to Israel and support special operations in his local area if needed.
Akamai previously said that it had cooperated with the FBI. The firm also noted that there is no evidence that Doxer actually gave information to a foreign government.
Authorities arrested Doxer in August and charged him with one count of wire fraud. That charge will be dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
The espionage charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a three-year term of supervised release and a $500,000 fine.