A former U.S. Army major—who in 2015 claimed to be the first openly transgender officer—and his wife were indicted on charges of attempting to hand over American soldiers’ medical information to Russia, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
A federal grand jury indicted Jamie Lee Henry and Anna Gabrielian, his wife, on charges of conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information, said a DOJ news release on Thursday.
Gabrielian and Henry, of Maryland, are accused of conspiring to cause injury to the United States by giving confidential health information of Americans associated with the military and government to the Kremlin.
Starting last month, the pair allegedly conspired to give individually identifiable health information related to patients in Fort Bragg and another medical institution to a person they believed was working on behalf of the Russian government, according to the DOJ.
They did this, the DOJ said, to demonstrate “their willingness to provide [individually identifiable health information] to the Russian government; and the potential for the Russian government to gain insights into the medical conditions of individuals associated with the United States government and military in order to exploit this information.”
Gabrielian, who works at a medical institution in Baltimore, told an undercover FBI agent during an Aug. 17 meeting that she was “motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia” even if it means she would go to prison or get fired, said the indictment (pdf). Then, she gave the agent information about the spouse of a person who works in the Office of Naval Intelligence and said they have a medical issue that “Russia could exploit.”
Henry, who works as a doctor at Fort Bragg and is a former Army major, provided an agent with information on five patients at the facility, according to the indictment. They include a retired Army officer, a current Department of Defense employee, the spouse of a U.S. Army veteran, the spouse of a deceased U.S. Army veteran, and the spouse of another deceased U.S. Army veteran.
The indictment alleged that the plot started after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Prosecutors said the pair wanted to try to help the Russian government by providing them with data to help the Putin regime “gain insights into the medical conditions of individuals associated with the U.S. government and military.”
At another meeting with the undercover agent, Henry said he was also committed to Russia’s efforts, and he claimed he had even contemplated volunteering to join the Russian army.
“The way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now, is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia,” he allegedly told the agent, prosecutors said.
In 2015, Henry claimed that he was the first openly transgender U.S. Army officer in a BuzzFeed News article. In that interview, he said that being transgender helped him while working in the medical field.
Reuters contributed to this report.