She was lurking in the Ivy, ready to pounce.
Accused Russian spy Cynthia Murphy used her cover as a Columbia University MBA student to try to turn her capitalist classmates into comrades, federal officials say.
Murphy, code-named “N” by her Moscow handlers, not only tried to recruit secret agents, she also had another nefarious mission — digging up dirt on fellow students who expressed interest in or were signed up for jobs at the CIA, a criminal complaint says.
The shocking charges against Murphy, 35 — who received her master’s of business administration from Columbia in May — are laid out in the federal criminal complaint unsealed after she and her husband Richard were busted earlier this week, along with eight other US residents who allegedly worked for “Moscow Central.”
According to the complaint, Russia’s SVR spy agency last year sent electronic messages that were intercepted by US law enforcement. One of these messages directed Murphy “to strengthen . . . ties w/ classmates on daily basis incl. professors who can help in job search and who will have (or already have) access to secret info,” the complaint says.
Murphy’s bosses also allegedly told her to spy on teachers and classmates with an eye toward turning them into secret agents for Russia.