Imprisoned Spy and His Son Indicted on Charges of Acting as Russian Agents and Money Laundering

Special to News Wire

WASHINGTON — A federal indictment was unsealed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon charging Harold James Nicholson, 58, of Sheridan, Oregon, and Nathaniel James Nicholson, 24, of Eugene, Oregon, with two counts of Conspiracy, one count of Acting as Agents of a Foreign Government, and four counts of Money Laundering.

Both defendants are scheduled to appear today at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Janice M. Stewart for arraignment on the indictment. The maximum penalty for the substantive charge of acting as an agent of a foreign government is ten years imprisonment, while the maximum penalty for conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government is five years imprisonment.

Each money laundering count, including the money laundering conspiracy, carries a maximum of twenty years imprisonment. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of funds provided to Nathaniel Nicholson by the Russian Federation, which the indictment alleges are the proceeds of his father’s past espionage activities.

As set forth in the indictment, Harold J. Nicholson, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, is serving a 283-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, for a 1997 conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage. The indictment further alleges that defendant Harold J. Nicholson, working through his son Nathaniel J. Nicholson, received cash proceeds of his past espionage activities from, and passed information to, agents of the Russian Federation between 2006 and 2008.

During the course of the conspiracy, Nathaniel J. Nicholson met with his father Harold J. Nicholson, on several occasions to obtain information that was intended to be provided to the Russian Federation. Defendant Nathaniel J. Nicholson then travelled to various places to meet with representatives of the Russian Federation, including San Francisco, Calif.; Mexico City, Mexico; Lima, Peru; and Cyprus, where he collected money from them and received additional instructions. Defendant Nathaniel J. Nicholson then brought the funds he received back to Oregon to disperse to family members at the direction of defendant Harold J. Nicholson.

The indictment further alleges that the funds paid by the Russian Federation to defendant Nathaniel J. Nicholson represented proceeds of defendant Harold J. Nicholson’s past espionage activities.

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