Former FBI Contract Linguist Sentenced for Leaking Classified Information to Blogger
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams sentenced former FBI contract linguist, Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, a/k/a Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, age 40, of Silver Spring, Maryland, today to 20 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully providing classified documents to the host of an Internet blog who then published information from those documents on the blog.
The sentence was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland; and Richard A. McFeely, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office.
“The willful disclosure of classified information to those not entitled to receive it is a serious crime,” said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to anyone in government who would consider compromising our nation’s secrets.”
“Government employees who are given access to classified information are prohibited from disclosing the information without permission,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
“As a trusted member of the FBI ranks, Leibowitz abused the trust of the FBI and the American public by using his access to classified information for his own purposes,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely.
According to Liebowitz’s plea agreement, from January through August 2009, Leibowitz was employed by the FBI as a contract linguist in an office in Calverton, Maryland. Leibowitz held a Top Secret security clearance and had lawful access to classified documents and information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the United States. In April 2009, Leibowitz caused five documents classified as Secret, which contained classified information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the United States, to be furnished to a person not entitled to receive such information.
The recipient was the host of a public blog available to anyone with access to the Internet. The recipient then published on the blog information from the classified documents.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dunne, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, and Trial Attorney Kathleen M. Kedian, of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, who prosecuted the case.