Recipient in India remains unidentified.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: A US citizen has pleaded guilty to charges that he sent sensitive military information to India, in strict violation of US espionage laws.
Robert Luba, a 47 year-old contractor with the US Department of Defense, sent to India various blueprints that showed the inner workings of a variety of military hardware used by the US. Some of the blueprints even showed parts of top-secret US nuclear submarines.
Additionally, Luba is also guilty of having installed pins into the wings of Indian-made F-15 fighter planes that turned out to be faulty. The defective pin installation, which may have occurred on as many as 47 individual planes in the US Air Force, has cost the US government close to $166,000.
It is not known exactly who in India was receiving the things that Luba was sending (court documents list the recipient as alias “RP”), but Luba’s methods and motive for transmitting the classified information from the US to India have come to light.
Luba would use a password-protected website belonging to a church near his home in New Jersey to transmit the information, although the church was unaware that this was going on. He would email RP the data for certain parts that the US Defense Department needed so that the two could negotiate on a price ahead of time, which Luba would then use to decide if he could bid on certain Defense Department contracts. If the price negotiated was low enough, Luba could get the contract cheaply, unfairly edging out his competition.
Prosecuting attorney Paul J. Fisherman emphatically denounced Luba’s actions, saying that he “not only jeopardized the lives of men and women on the front lines of our national defense, he put all Americans at risk, all in the name of making a buck.”
Luba is the owner and general manager of Allied Components, a manufacturing company, as well as the owner of OneSource USA. His sentencing is scheduled for February 19, 2014; he faces $1 million in fines, in addition to the $173,000 he has agreed to reimburse the Department of Defense, as well as up to 20 years in prison.