#17 - JRL 7226
June 17, 2003
Moscow rules Cockeysville man was a spy
Russian sent to prison for giving secrets to U.S.
By A Sun Staff Writer
The Russian man who moved into a $980,000 home in an affluent Cockeysville neighborhood in 1999 was charming, but so secretive that neighbors say they joked he must be a spy. They did not know how right they were.
Alexander Zaporozhsky, 52, a former colonel in the Russian intelligence service, was sentenced last week to 18 years in prison after a closed trial in Moscow for allegedly providing Russian secrets to the CIA. He was arrested in November 2001 while on a visit to Moscow.
The Russian press has reported that Zaporozhsky exposed as many as 20 spies working for Russia in the United States, possibly including FBI agent Robert Hanssen, now serving a life term for espionage.
But David Wise, author of a book on the Hanssen case, said "the timing is all wrong" for Zaporozhsky to have exposed the FBI veteran's 20 years of treachery. The still-unidentified Russian source who revealed Hanssen's spying was paid an unprecedented $7 million by the U.S. government for delivering a telltale file from Moscow in 2000, Wise wrote in his book Spy.
Zaporozhsky adamantly denied that he worked for the CIA, the Russian media reported. His wife, Galina, who still lives in Cockeysville with their two sons, could not be reached for comment yesterday. A man at their house on Willow Vista Way, which the couple purchased in 2001 for $407,000, said no one in the family wanted to comment.
But Galina Zaporozhsky told the Los Angeles Times : "My husband is innocent. He has not betrayed his country."
She said her husband traveled to Moscow under his own name in 2001. "Could any sober person believe that a person who felt guilty, let alone someone who committed an act of state treason, would ever risk going back to his home country of his free will?" she asked.
A CIA spokesman last night declined to comment.
Russia's Federal Security Service told reporters that Zaporozhsky was a colonel in Russian intelligence for 15 years until 1997, when he resigned.
U.S. records show he lived in Fairfax and Haymarket, Va., in 1998 before buying a large brick mansion on Highfield Court in Cockeysville for $980,000 in 1999.
"He was very secretive and nobody knew what he did for a living," said one neighbor, who requested anonymity. "He worked on the computer all the time. People thought he must be a Russian spy."
State records show Zaporozhsky ran a company called East-West International Business Consulting from his home. Russian authorities said he reported working for a U.S. company called Water Shipping, but Maryland records show no company by that name.