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Crime gavel

ST. LOUIS • A former employee of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency pleaded guilty to a federal charge Wednesday and admitted stealing a spreadsheet containing sensitive government and business data and providing it to his new private-sector employer.

Jefferey S. Goebel, 57, of Lake Saint Louis, pleaded guilty to illegally removing records from a government office.

Goebel was director of the NGA's Office of Commercial Partnerships here and dealt with contractors offering photographs and analysis for purchase by the government. He retired after 30 years with the agency on June 3, 2010.

After he went to work as a vice president of a private company that provided high-resolution satellite photos to government and commercial users, he shared an NGA spreadsheet that contained sensitive and proprietary information, U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig said in court, summarizing Goebel's plea agreement.

“That's exactly what I did,” he responded.

Goebel now faces from probation to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

The company terminated Goebel's employment and returned the data to the NGA, prosecutors said.

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