A former FBI agent from Alexandria has pleaded guilty in Newark, N.J., to exceeding his authorized access to FBI computers while an agent to obtain confidential information that he passed along to a friend, according to his plea.
The information the friend received --and passed along to others in New Jersey, prosecutors say--included the existence of an ongoing FBI investigation in Newark, and the existence of an undercover “law enforcement” operation in the city, the name of the FBI’s operation and the federal offenses being investigated.
The friend had asked then-FBI agent, Ivan Stantchev, 42, of Alexandria, to check out four telephone numbers and find out about the people linked to the numbers, according to federal court records.
Stantchev contacted an FBI colleague in the New York area in June, 2011 with the phone numbers and by the end of the month got back an e-mail from the colleague through the FBI system with information that Stantchev then gave to his friend, court filings show.
David Laufman of the District, Stantchev’s attorney, said the information his client relayed “was in no way classified and did not involve national security.”
Laufman also said “we will have much more to say about this” in court filings before Stantchev’s scheduled sentencing in December in U.S. District Court for New Jersey.
Stantchev pleaded guilty Friday in Newark to a misdemeanor for exceeding his authorized access to an FBI computer and obtaining non-public information from the FBI. The crime carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. He was released on $150,000 bond, court records show.
Barbara Woodruff, an FBI spokeswoman in Newark, said the breach did not compromise any investigation. Woodruff said Stantchev joined the FBI in 2005 and had worked most recently in Newark after assignments at FBI headquarters and in New York.