14. America’s Most Infamous Traitor of the Modern Era Was Paid Millions by the Russians, While The CIA Ignored Warning Signs
In 1985, Aldrich Ames married Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy, a CIA informant who worked as a cultural attache in the Colombian embassy in Mexico City. That same year, the newly-weds began selling secrets to the KGB. In 1985, Ames handed the Soviets information that established his credentials as a CIA insider, then asked for $50,000 to continue the relationship. The Soviets promptly paid. During their run of treason, which lasted until they were finally unmasked in 1994, Ames and his wife received over $2.7 million from the Soviets, and after 1991, the Russians.
There were warning signs aplenty. They included conspicuous consumption and extravagant spending on things ranging from a $520,000 house paid for in cash, luxury vacations, premium credit cards whose minimum monthly payment exceeded Ames’ salary, and luxury cars that stood out in the CIA’s parking lot. Those were things that no honest public servant could afford on government pay. However, no alarm bells were raised for years. When suspicions were finally aroused, it took years more, until 1993, before the CIA took a serious look at Ames’ finances and activities.