Like any other real estate agent these days, Ann Foley had her own website, which included a photo of her and a brief biography.
"Ann resides in Cambridge with her husband and two teenage sons. She and her family are fond of travel,'' the website reports. "They have enjoyed visiting much of Europe but are particularly in love with Asia.''
Nowhere, of course, does the website say that Ann Foley is a Russian spy who has lived in the US since 1999, posing as just another American working hard for a better life for herself and her family. But that's what the FBI has charged, in complaints unsealed Monday.
The FBI alleged that Foley -- whose real name is currently unknown -- and her "husband,'' Donald Howard Heathfield, fabricated a life designed to put them in touch with the powerful and the knowledgeable.
And that alleged mission -- Foley was to collect intelligence by ingratiating herself with the powerful -- has left her most recent employer in the real estate industry baffled.
"To be honest with you, it's hard for me to imagine that she was the top spymaster in this ring of spies, if she is guilty as charged,'' said Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer of Redfin. "She did not have a position that gave her access to the halls of power. She was in an entry-level position at our company.''
Foley -- whose full alias is Tracey Lee Ann Foley -- lived on Trowbridge Street in Cambridge where she and her husband were arrested Sunday, according to the FBI. The couple are being held pending a hearing Thursday in US District Court in Boston.
According to Redfin, Foley was hired in February as a contract employee. She was paid about $100 a day to show customers homes, usually several homes during one day.
The company said that they checked Foley's criminal record -- there was none -- and determined that she had a valid Social Security number before she was hired. She also interviewed with two current Redfin employees before she was hired.
Foley told Redfin that she had worked for two Boston area real estate firms before seeking the chance to join Redfin, which has broken with real estate industry practices and pays brokers a salary instead of a commission.
"She was a great field agent. She was very well-liked by her customers. She was a total sweetheart,'' said Kelman.
On her website, Foley also provided a brief biography.
"Ann Foley, a native of Montreal, lived and was educated in Switzerland, Canada and France. Prior to her career in real estate she worked as a Human Resources officer in Toronto and ran her own travel agency in Cambridge that specialized in organizing trips to French wine regions for small groups of enthusiasts,'' the biography claims.
"Ann's cultural awareness and international experience make her sensitive to the needs of other people. She strives for excellence in everything she does. Ann succeeds through her ability to ensure quality service, honesty and integrity. You will appreciate Ann's enthusiasm and commitment to make sure that your real estate goal becomes a reality.''
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