A former Boeing Co. marketing executive was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for illegally passing classified Pentagon budget documents to his employers and other defense firms.
Richard Lee Fowler, 64, was sentenced after his conviction last month on 39 felony counts arising from his possession of the Pentagon documents. Fowler could have received a 310-year prison term and a $225,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan said, "These offenses are serious and they warrant incarceration."
Bryan rejected Fowler's contention that he did not know his activities during the eight years he worked for Boeing violated federal law. Bryan said the evidence "indicated to me he knew what he was doing" with the documents.
Fowler told the judge, "I stand before you today never in my life ever having harmed any human being physically, emotionally or financially. Yet I am here today for doing a job I was hired to do by one of the Fortune 500 companies."
"They were not aware it was criminal. I was not aware it was criminal," Fowler said.
Boeing, the Seattle-based defense firm, pleaded guilty to unlawful conveyance of classified information and paid a fine of $5.2 million. The company admitted that it had hired Fowler, a former Defense Department budget analyst, to obtain documents that were classified.