Russian Beauty Had Beastly Intentions, U.S. Prosecutors Charge

Anna Chapman has the face of an angel. A stylish redhead with model looks and a master's degree in economics, the 28-year-old lived the New York high-life, renting a $2,100-a-month apartment and hobnobbing with Manhattan's social elite.

She also was a "practiced deceiver" who worked as an agent for the Russian government, attempting to secretly transmit information from her laptop computer to a Russian government computer, according to U.S. federal prosecutors.

Chapman, along with 10 others, was charged Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. attorney general, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison upon conviction.

According to two criminal complaints filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Chapman allegedly met with an FBI official posing as a Russian agent on June 26 to receive, and later deliver, a fraudulent passport to an unnamed individual who she believed was also a Russian agent.

"Are you ready for this step?" the undercover agent asked her inside a New York coffee shop

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"S---, of course," Chapman allegedly replied.

Upon receiving the fraudulent passport, investigators followed Chapman to Brooklyn, where she was allegedly seen discarding a Verizon cell phone registered under the name Irine Kutsov," residing at "99 Fake Street."

Chapman was arrested a day later while turning over the fraudulent passport to police -- a detail her attorney, Robert M. Baum, said shows she is not the experienced so-called spy that prosecutors claim her to be.

Her mother, who lives in western Moscow, said she is convinced of her daughter's innocence.

"Of course I believe that she's innocent," Irina Kushchenko told The Associated Press. She refused to comment further.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Farbiarz told Judge Ronald Ellis in a Manhattan federal court Monday that Chapman used  "ad hoc" wireless networks to communicate with Russian officials.

Farbiarz said she acted as an "unregistered agent" since January 2010, communicating with a Russian agent every Wednesday from "various locations in New York City" using her laptop computer.

Chapman lists herself on her LinkedIn profile as the current CEO of a Russian-speaking real estate search engine called A search by yielded no information showing Anna Chapman had a professional real estate license.

"Love launching innovative high-tech start-ups and building passionate teams to bring value into market!" she writes on her profile, detailing her work experience and credentials. Chapman describes her company as a "true vertical search engine in the field of residential real estate."

"We are not a real estate agency," she writes. "We just gather all the information about property market in one source, so you can compare objects of the whole market and go to the resource that has the necessary information."

Helen Tretyakova, a marketing assistant at KIT Fortis Investments, a Russian-based asset management company, confirmed to in an e-mail Tuesday that Chapman once worked for the company in Moscow -- though she did not provide dates. Chapman claimed to have worked as a vice president for the company from 2007 to 2008.

Prior to her job in Moscow, Chapman, who holds a master's degree in economics from the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, says she was employed by a London-based hedge fund from 2005 to 2007. She also claims that she worked as a "slave" for Barclay's Bank in London from 2004 to 2005.

Chapman, who is reportedly divorced from her British husband and has no children, also lived a lavish lifestyle in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan's financial district, where rentals cost upwards of $2,100 per month.

A neighbor of Chapman's, who spoke to on condition of anonymity, described her as a "nice girl" who kept to herself and had little interaction with the other residents on her floor.

Chapman, who provides few details about herself on her Facebook profile, posted a dozen photographs of herself along with several "wall postings" in Russian.

Some of her postings, however, are written in English, and offer a twist of irony in the alleged spy ring bust that the Russian government has angrily rejected as a return to the Cold War era .

"When you speak the truth, you don't have to remember it," Chapman wrote on her Facebook wall on January 19.

Alex Roshuk, an immigration lawyer and Facebook friend of Chapman's, described the woman as a "virtual" acquaintance with similar interests but said he never met her.

"I never met her," Roshuk told, saying the young woman "friended" him on Facebook just last week.

The "interests" on Chapman's Facebook page include "Alma De Agave Tequila, New York Entrepreneur Week, Do It In Person, AMBAR, and School of Academic and Professional Blogging." Her list of friends on the social network are people mostly in Russia and includes several Russian-based corporate and business executives.

Another Facebook acquaintance, Alexander Sasha Galitsky, a managing partner for a Moscow-based Almaz Capital Partners, told that he did not know Chapman personally.

"She tried to raise capital for her online real estate business," he said in an e-mail Tuesday. "After this she tried to speak about some other initiative like online poker, but this is out of our policy."

Chapman, who is being held without bail, is scheduled to appear in court on July 27.

The Associated Press contributed to this report