A Moscow court has charged an imprisoned Russian-born US citizen with espionage, Russian state news agency TASS reported Thursday, citing the court’s press service.
The individual, named Gene Spector, is currently serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty to bribery charges, according to TASS.
Spector was born and raised in St. Petersburg but later moved to the United States and received US citizenship, according to TASS. He was the chairman of the board of directors of Medpolymerprom Group, specializing in cancer drugs, according to TASS.
In 2020, Spector was charged with mediating bribes for Anastasia Alekseyeva, a former aide to former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, according to TASS.
A US State Department spokesperson said the US is “aware of reports of charges against a US citizen in Russia" and that it is monitoring the situation.
There is no indication the US has deemed Spector to be wrongfully detained.
Detainees in Russia: Several Americans have been held in Russian custody during Moscow's war in Ukraine.
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested by Russian authorities in March, marking the first detention of an American reporter in Russia on allegations of spying since the Cold War.
Gerskovich's arrest rattled White House officials and further strained wartime relations between Moscow and Washington.
Other high-profile detentions — including that of US basketball star Brittney Griner, who was released in December, and former US Marine Paul Whelan — have raised concerns that Americans could be used as pawns in the broader geopolitics surrounding the war.
Clarification: This post has been updated to note Spector was already serving a prison sentence, and that this is a new charge.
CNN's Anna Chernova, Sophie Tanno and Jo Shelley contributed to this report.