Lustyik pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in a bribery scheme; soliciting bribes by a public official; conspiracy to defraud the citizens of the United States and the FBI; theft of government property and unauthorized disclosure of a Suspicious Activity Report, the attorney’s office said.
Lustyik was an FBI special agent who worked on the counterintelligence squad in the White Plains Resident Agency. Lustyik’s friend, Johannes Thaler, and Rizve Ahmed, who was an acquaintance of Thaler, were also involved in the scheme, the attorney’s office said.
From around September 2011 through March 2012, Lustyik and Thaler solicited payments of money from Ahmed, in exchange for Lustyik’s agreement to provide internal, confidential documents and other confidential information to which Lustyik had access by virtue of his position as an FBI special agent, the attorney’s office said.
The documents and information pertained to a prominent citizen of Bangladesh. Ahmed perceived himself to be on the opposite side of a political rivalry with the citizen. Ahmed sought, among other things, to obtain information about the citizen, to locate the citizen, and to harm the citizen and others associated with the citizen, the attorney’s office said.
As part of the scheme, Lustyik and Thaler exchanged text messages, including messages about how to pressure Ahmed to pay them additional money in exchange for confidential information, the attorney’s office said.
Lustyik faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison, the release said. Lustyik is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Briccetti on Thursday, April 30, at 9:30 a.m, the attorney’s office said.