Imprisoned Spy, Son Indicted for Acting as Russian Agents and Money Laundering
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
A federal indictment was unsealed on Friday 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, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
Both defendants appeared 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 fatherâ€™s past espionage activities.
As stated in the indictment, Harold J. Nicholson, a former Central Intelligence Agency employee, is serving a more than 23-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon, for a 1997 conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage. The indictment further alleges that defendant Harold Nicholson, working through his son Nathaniel Nicholson, received cash proceeds of his past espionage activities from, and passed information to, agents of the Russian Federation between 2006 and 2008.
As described in the indictment, during the course of the conspiracy, Nathaniel met with his father on several occasions to obtain information that was intended to be provided to the Russian Federation. Defendant Nathaniel 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 Nicholson.
The indictment further alleges that the funds paid by the Russian Federation to defendant Nathaniel Nicholson represented proceeds of defendant Harold Nicholsonâ€™s past espionage activities.
U.S. Attorney for District of Oregon, Karin J. Immergut stated, â€œThe conduct alleged in the indictment shows a sinister and continuing scheme, by a former senior CIA officer-turned spy, to betray the United States of America for financial gain. Thanks to the continued vigilance of the FBI, and the extraordinary cooperation of the Bureau of Prisons, we expect to hold a former spy, and the son who joined him in his criminal conduct, responsible for their actions.â€
Matthew G. Olsen, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, said, â€œTodayâ€™s indictment alleges that an imprisoned spy recruited and trained his own 24-year-old son to travel the globe to collect on past spying debts and channel information to foreign agents. These charges underscore the continuing threat posed by foreign intelligence services and should send a clear message to others who would consider selling out their country for money.”
â€œHarold James Nicholson, already convicted of spying and compromising national security, thought he could profit from his previous espionage despite being behind bars,” said Executive Assistant Director Arthur M. Cummings, II, of the FBI National Security Division. “Now, along with his son, he again acted against the interests of the United States, according to the charges.”
“This is an amazing case,” said David Ian Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Harold James Nicholson, a convicted spy, was allowed to serve time in a federal prison in Oregon to be near his family. Without regret, he used that proximity to his family to continue contact with the foreign country for which he was previously convicted of spying.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Pamala Holsinger and Ethan Knight are prosecuting this case. Trial Attorney Patrick Murphy of the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Departmentâ€™s National Security Division is also assisting.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he’s the blog editor for the House Conservatives Fund’s weblog. Recently, the editors Examiner.com appointed him as their Law Enforcement Examiner. Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for NewswithViews.com and PHXnews.com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 300 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.