A New Jersey home that has been vacant since the FBI arrested a family of undercover Russian spies has been sold for $340,000, according to the Monclair Local. The sale price was far below the asking price of $433,900.
Vladimir and Lydia Guryev lived in the home in Montclair under the names Richard and Cynthia Murphy before they were arrested in 2010 along with eight other spies accused of leading double lives, complete with false passports, secret code words, fake names, invisible ink and encrypted radio.
The parents of two young daughters had pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country and were deported to Russia in exchange for four people convicted of betraying Moscow to the West being let out of prison there.
Their story partially inspired the FX drama “The Americans,” about two undercover Russian spies that live in the U.S. with two young children.
Lydia Guryev worked as an accountant in New York and was accused of using her financial contacts to pass information to Moscow and the husband portrayed himself as a “stay-at-home dad” taking care of their daughters.
Both pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country and were deported not long after their arrests.
Prosecutors described a ring that used techniques both elaborate and seemingly out of a Cold War spy movie. The group meshed into American life while engaging in clandestine global travel engaging in some practices so sophisticated the government would not describe them in open court.
It was all toward the goal of infiltrating U.S. policy circles and learning about U.S. diplomacy and weapons information.
In 2009, authorities allege the Guryevs were asked to find out information from people involved in U.S. politics and foreign policy about President Barack Obama’s impending trip to Russia and how he would negotiate with regards to the START nuclear arms treaty, Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclear program.
Authorities said they found $80,000 in crisp $100 bills in the Montclair home, which was paid for by the Russian government.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.