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Sterling Family Fund

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On January 26, 2015, Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on 9 counts under the Espionage Act for leaking classified information regarding a CIA operation to author James Risen who in 2006, published a book titled “State of War”. The conviction was based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Mr. Risen was not required to testify and the prosecution could produce no documents, no recordings, nothing that directly linked Jeffrey as a source for Mr. Risen's book.   In fact, the FBI agent who investigated Jeffrey for over 10 years testified that there was absolutely no evidence that Jeffrey was a source.

He is due to be sentenced on April 24, 2015. His attorneys are currently appealing the conviction. Unfortunately for Jeffrey, he became the government’s primary target because he had the audacity to do two things

He went through appropriate legal channels to address his concerns about a covert CIA operation.

He filed a discrimination lawsuit against the CIA in August of 2001 (two months later he was fired) which was coincidentally thrown out because proof would require release of classified information. Jeffrey contacted Mr. Risen in an effort to have his discrimination story heard. Mr. Risen subsequently did write an article about Jeffrey's lawsuit.  Another story was published in the May 20, 2002 issue of “People” magazine. Here is an excerpt:

 “Sterling joined the CIA in 1993 and two years later became a case officer in the Iran Task Force. (He was the only black among its more than 20 professionals.) To prepare, he spent a year studying Farsi, the language of Iran. Sent to Bonn in 1997 to recruit Iranians as agents, he grew frustrated when he wasn't given new prospects to recruit. Perplexed, he returned to Langley and confronted his supervisors. “I asked why I wasn't receiving any assignments. They said, “Well, you kind of stick out as a big black guy,” Sterling recalls. “They said, 'You bring unwanted attention to where you're assigned. Everyone in management agreed I was too conspicuous. And I said, “Well, when did you realize that I was black?”

Arrested in 2011, he was fired from his job at Anthem Healthcare. This, after winning an award in 2010 for saving the company over 32 million dollars due to healthcare fraud. He has been unable to get another job. He and his wife Holly lived off their savings and Holly’s income as a social worker for a few years but the money has run out. Their house is on the cusp of foreclosure, they have had to depend on the kindness of family, friends and in some cases total strangers for the money to travel from their home in Missouri to court in Virginia.

I have never met a man with more integrity and more strength in family values. You know when you meet him that he is a man who puts family and honesty above all else. There are many people who believe that Jeffrey was steamrolled because of his color and because he stood up for what he believes in and would not plead guilty to something he did not do.

Please consider making a donation to help Jeffrey’s family to ease the ongoing financial burdens they face.


Laurie Lewandowski
Carpentersville, IL

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