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Miller Accused of Betraying U.S. for Sex and Money

August 7, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Richard W. Miller was enticed through ″classic espionage techniques″ - sex and money - into passing secrets to the Soviet Union, a prosecutor told the jury hearing the case of the first FBI agent charged with spying.

″He was sexually vulnerable; he needed money and he was bitter against his employer, the FBI,″ U.S. Attorney Robert Bonner said in his opening statement. ″In short, in 1984, Richard Miller was a classic target for KGB recruitment.″

The prosecutor, promising inside glimpses of Soviet spying, said Tuesday he would show the trail of illicit sex and clandestine meetings that led Miller into a web of espionage woven by Svetlana Ogorodnikov.

″You will have the opportunity to learn about the world of espionage,″ Bonner told the jury. ″It is not the glamorous world of spy novels and movies. It is a much more grimy reality.″

Miller, 48, a 20-year FBI veteran, is charged with passing classified documents to the Soviet Union for a promise of $65,000 in cash and gold and a gift of an expensive trenchcoat from his lover.

Bonner, who was to conclude his opening remarks today, was to be followed by defense attorney Stanley Greenberg.

The case outlined by the prosecution was almost identical to that presented at the trial of Mrs. Ogorodnikov and her husband, Nikolay.

Greenberg was expected to portray Miller as a loyal FBI agent who believed he was infiltrating the Soviet intelligence network when he became involved with the Soviet woman.

Bonner, who illustrated his remarks with audio tapes and a charted chronology of Miller’s alleged activities, said the Soviets had set out to recruit an FBI agent to fulfill one of their primary goals in the United States - penetrating the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In Miller, they found ″a disgruntled and vulnerable American″ who became an easy prey for a woman offering sexual enticement, Bonner said.

″You will learn that Mrs. Ogorodnikov succeeded in snaring Miller in a web of espionage,″ he said. ″You will learn how Richard Miller was enticed through classic espionage techniques.″

The portly Miller, clad in a freshly pressed, gray three-piece suit, sat at the counsel table taking notes and showed no reaction to Bonner’s comments.

The prosecutor said Miller’s FBI superiors warned him to stay away from Mrs. Ogorodnikov on May 23, 1984, the first day he met her. But that evening he had sex with her in her car, Bonner said.

By the time the FBI began trailing Miller the following September, the agent had been compromised, he said. ″Miller was easily enticed into a sexual relationship with Svetlana Ogorodnikov. She asked him to provide documents to her government, and he did provide one or more documents which she took into the Soviet consulate.″

The Miller case is the first Bonner is arguing since he took over the U.S. attorney’s office.

The Ogorodnikovs abruptly pleaded guilty to conspiracy at the end of the prosecution case of their trial in June, and were sentenced to prison. Mrs. Ogorodnikov has been mentioned as a potential witness against Miller.

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