A transgender U.S. Army major and her anesthesiologist wife have been charged after it was revealed they were attempting to help Russia in its war against Ukraine by trying to hand over medical records of American military patients to Moscow, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Major Jamie Lee Henry, 39, and Dr. Anna Gabrielian, 36, allegedly gave highly sensitive healthcare data to an undercover FBI agent last month who they believed worked for the Russian Embassy, according to an unsealed indictment.
Henry was one of the first known active-duty officers to come out as a transgender woman, as far back as 2015. The indictment refers to Henry as “he” throughout. Gabrielian works at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Both of them are now facing charges of conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information.
The indictment claims that the couple started hatching the plan after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in February. Gabrielian allegedly contacted the Russian Embassy by email and phone to offer her and Henry’s support and assistance.
While Henry allegedly was unsure about handing over the records, due to it being a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), her wife had no hesitation.
Gabrielian allegedly told the agent during an Aug. 24 meeting in Baltimore that Henry was a “coward” for her concerns, and that she violated the law “all the time.”
Gabrielian had passed along information on both current and former military officials and their spouses by the end of August. Federal prosecutors said that at least five of the patients were stationed at the Fort Bragg Army base in North Carolina, where Henry was a staff internist.
This base contains the headquarters of the US Army Special Operations Command and the Womack Army Medical Center. One of the patients there was married to an Office of Naval Intelligence employee and the undercover agent was told the spouse had a medical issue that Russia could exploit.
The indictment doesn’t reveal what, if any, ties the couple has to Russia, but Gabrielian told the undercover agent during one of their first meetings on that she felt “motivated by patriotism” and that she would carry on even if it meant she would be fired or jailed. Henry also told the agent she was committed to Russia on the same day.
“The way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now, is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia,” Henry allegedly told the agent, claiming she’d contemplated volunteering to join the Russian army.
Henry’s attorney David Little said his client was released on home detention, but declined to comment on the charges themselves.
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