U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says federal agents have broken up an alleged Russian spy ring in New York City where three suspects tried to recruit U.S. residents.
The FBI arrested Evgeny Buryakov in the Bronx section of New York Monday.
Two other suspects — Victor Podobnyy and Igor Sporyshev — are no longer in the United States and have diplomatic immunity, but were still charged.
According to the Justice Department's complaint, Buryakov broke U.S. law by not informing officials that he was in the country as a covert Russian intelligence agent.
He was working in a New York City office of a Russian bank. Podobnyy was an attache to Russia's United Nations mission and Sporyshev was a Russian trade representative.
They are accused of trying to gather information about U.S. sanctions on Russian banks and plans to develop alternative energy sources, and send that information back to Russia's foreign intelligence agency.
The three also allegedly tried to recruit people already living in the United States. They include employees of major corporations and women connected to a major university.
More than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, Russian spies continue to work in the U.S., and are a direct threat to U.S. national security, say Justice Department officials.
The three Russian suspects face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.