US prosecutors: New spy case shows Russia up to old tricks but targeting US economy this time

U.S. authorities say an investigation of an alleged spy ring shows Russian secret agents are still infiltrating American society.

Three Russian citizens were charged last week in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors say the two diplomats and a banker were under orders from Russian officials in Moscow to gather intelligence on the U.S. economy. They say the men tried to avoid detection by speaking in code on the phone and by meeting in person to pass notes.

But court papers say the men sometimes let down their guard to complain that their assignment was too mundane.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman has accused U.S. authorities of manufacturing a spy scandal as part of its "anti-Russian campaign."