Case dubbed an ‘alarming trend’ in the intelligence community
An ex-CIA officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a conspiracy to pass classified US defense secrets to China.
The case has been described as an “alarming trend” in the US intelligence community following similar incidents.
Kevin Mallory, 62, was convicted under the Espionage Act for trading classified US “defense information” to intelligence entities in China for $25,000.
According to a message he sent to the Chinese agent on May 5, 2017, he said, “Your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid.”
The former spy had has served in the US army before being recruited as a special agent for the security service of the State Department.
Mallory then became a covert case officer for the Central Intelligence Agency.
The alarming trend makes Mallory one of several US officials given high-level security clearances who here arrested for unsanctioned dealings with Chinese intelligence.
Earlier this month, another former CIA officer confessed to conspiring with China to spy on the United States after he was offered $100,000 to pass top-secret defense and intelligence data to Beijing.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, pleaded guilty to the charges after two Chinese intelligence officers approached him in 2010, according to The Justice Department.
President Donald Trump is reportedly making plans to prohibit US telecom firms from using equipment produced by telecom companies that pose a “national security risk,” possibly aimed at China’s Huawei.
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The two Chinese intelligence officers promised to take care of him “for life” in exchange for Lee’s services.
Former Defense Intelligence Agency official Ron Hansen also faces 15 years in prison after he was charged with conspiring to sell classified information to China.
Candace Marie Claiborne, a former diplomat, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about the money she accepted from Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for US documents.
“This case is one in an alarming trend of former US intelligence officers being targeted by China and betraying their country and colleagues,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said of the Mallory case.
“This sentence, together with the recent guilty pleas of Ron Hansen in Utah and Jerry Lee in Virginia, deliver the stern message that our former intelligence officers have no business partnering with the Chinese or any other adversarial foreign intelligence service.”