A “non-official cover” agent generally refers to an espionage agent working in a foreign nation without the protection of diplomatic immunity.
As described in another court document, "in many cases [NOCs] are never identified as intelligence agents by the host government. As a result, a NOC is an extremely valuable intelligence asset for the SVR."
Buryakov is listed as the Deputy Representative in the U.S. for Russia's Vnesheconombank, based in Manhattan. A spokesperson at the state-run bank declined to comment to ABC News.
Federal officials say the spy ring was tasked by Moscow with gathering information on, among other things, potential U.S. sanctions against Russia and U.S. efforts to develop alternative energy resources. The three allegedly worked for a particular division of
Russian intelligence called “Directorate ER,” which “focuses on economic issues,” according to the complaint.