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Accused spy Hanssen had friendship with exotic dancer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sources close to the investigation of alleged FBI spy Robert Hanssen confirmed to CNN Thursday Hanssen had a relationship with an exotic dancer he met at a "gentleman's club" in Washington called "Good Guys."

The relationship apparently was not sexual in nature. According to the sources, Hanssen took the woman to the church he and his family attended, and the relationship was not a secret. One source said it is believed Hanssen was trying to get the woman involved in church and help change her life.

The relationship was first reported in the Thursday edition of the Washington Post.

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The sources said there was every indication Hanssen purchased a $10,000 car for the woman. But despite reports Hanssen also purchased a plane ticket to Tokyo for her, a source said, "That isn't adding up."

So far, the $10,000 purchase is the only lead law enforcement officials have regarding the $600,000 Hanssen is alleged to have received for selling secrets to the Russians. Law enforcement officials continue to reconstruct his activities for purposes of the investigation.

The government has accused Hanssen, a 25-year veteran FBI counterintelligence agent, of passing top-secret information to the Soviets, and later Russians, for 15 years. Prosecutors allege Hanssen made $1.4 million from his spying activities, $600,000 of which was in cash and diamonds, with the rest going into an escrow account in Russia.

Hanssen could be sentenced to death if convicted.

One of Hanssen's former FBI supervisors, David Major, has stated that he did not believe money was the prime motivation, adding that his former colleague was obsessed by ideas, his wife, Bonnie and their six children rather than material wealth.

Hanssen, 56, lived a seemingly quiet life on a tree-lined street in Vienna, Virginia, a Washington suburb. The couple had purchased the comfortable, brick home in 1987 for $205,000. Neighbors described a man devoted to his family, and a regular churchgoer.

Friends and colleagues say Hanssen was deeply religious.

Paul Moore, a former FBI counterintelligence agent who said he has known Hanssen for 20 years, told CNN Thursday that Hanssen was critical of colleagues who frequented gentlemen's clubs because he considered the practice " a sin." Moore theorizes that Hanssen may have entered the "Good Guys" club for the sole purpose of proselytizing.

James Bamford, an author who has written about intelligence subjects and is friendly with Hanssen, told CNN Hanssen tried to convince him to return to church.

According to investigators, Hanssen was arrested February 18 at a Virginia park just minutes after he allegedly left a package under a wooden footbridge. Investigators say the bridge was a "dead drop" site for delivering secret documents to his Russian handlers.

A grand jury is expected to return indictments against Hanssen, possibly before the scheduled preliminary hearing set for May 21, officials said. Hanssen's attorney Plato Cacheris has said his client intends to plead not guilty to espionage charges.



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RELATED SITES:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Central Intelligence Agency
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of Justice
Embassy of the Russian Federation
Russian FSB (former KGB, in Russian)

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