Espionage suspect explains strategy

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Former LANL physicist shares his thoughts on FBI probe

By Carol A. Clark

During a three hour interview Wednesday afternoon, former Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist P. Leonardo Mascheroni spoke in detail as to why he thinks the FBI seized property from his Camino Mora home Monday.

 “The FBI came to my home about 9:30 a.m. Monday and asked to come in because they wanted to talk to me about something. I let them in and they presented a search warrant,” Mascheroni said. “It’s very clear it is treason - the case the government wants to make against me - I was never a spy.”

 Mascheroni’s wife Marjorie Mascheroni said they have been married 42 years. LANL placed her on administrative leave Monday and she said she didn’t want to comment. She did say in reference to her husband, “He had the best intentions but may have gone about it the wrong way.”

 The investigation Mascheroni said, involves his dealings with a man representing himself to be from the Venezuelan government in an attempt to spark U.S. congressional interest in a laser fusion project he developed that eliminates the need for nuclear testing.

 “Luis” as the man called himself, agreed to pay Mascheroni $800,000 to write a nuclear weapons program for the Venezuelan government to use as a deterrent against the United States, Mascheroni said, adding that Luis told him Venezuela is scared of a U.S. invasion.

 Mascheroni agreed to Luis’ request, saying his intention was to show the U.S. congress that another country saw merit in his laser program so they would convene hearings in which he could convince them that his program would benefit mankind. He added that he was positive Venezuela could not build a nuclear weapon and the documents he gave Luis were to educate the Venezuelan government to that fact.

 Mascheroni reiterated that the documents he gave to Luis were not classified and the information he used to create them could be found on the Internet. He added that in all his dealings with congress, no one ever told him anything he had was classified.

 Mascheroni couldn’t remember the date exactly but thought it was perhaps November 2008; Luis gave him a sealed envelope containing $20,000 in cash and a promise to deposit an additional $400,000 in a Los Alamos National Bank account for him. The deposit was never made, he said.

 The FBI apparently captured Luis a couple of weeks ago with Mascheroni’s laser study in his possession, which triggered Monday’s raid on Mascheroni’s North Mesa home.

Mascheroni gave the sealed envelope that he had intended to present to congress to the FBI Monday, he said, adding that the FBI unsealed the envelope and confirmed there was indeed $20,000 cash inside.

Mascheroni is a naturalized citizen from Argentina who explained during the interview that he was very tired and “his English wasn’t that good.” His telephone had been ringing non-stop since 7 a.m., he said.

Mascheroni was laid off from LANL in 1988 and has spoken out against the country’s nuclear agenda since. He is the president and CEO of Laboratory Microfusion Facility, Inc.

LANL Spokesperson Lisa Rosendorf confirmed this morning that Marjorie Mascheroni has been placed on investigatory leave with pay. Her badge has been pulled and her LANL access suspended.

“We consider this a precautionary action because there are questions and we will also conduct our own investigation,” Rosendorf said.