Former CIA Officer Pleads Guilty to Spying For China
Here we go again with China.
A former CIA officer pleaded guilty this week to spying for China.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, conspired with China to commit espionage after being promised by Chinese officials that he would be taken care of financially for life.
Lee is a naturalized US citizen from Hong Kong and served in the CIA from 1994 through 2007 — he could face life in prison although the plea deal has set the federal sentencing guideline between 18 to 27 years. Judge T.S. Ellis has the authority to go above or below the federal guidelines, reported The Post.
The New York Post reported:
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, admitted as part of a plea bargain struck Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria that he received regular “taskings” from his Chinese handlers in 2010 and 2011 after the meeting in which he was promised financial assistance.
But the statement of facts filed in court is silent as to whether he actually succeeded in delivering any intelligence to China.
Whether he delivered secrets to the Chinese “is a matter that will come out to some extent in sentencing,” said US District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who set sentencing for Aug. 23.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, whose office is prosecuting the case, said in a statement: “Lee sold out his country, conspired to become a spy for a foreign government, and then repeatedly lied to investigators about his conduct.”
Lee served in the CIA as an overseas case officer and his job was to “recruit clandestine human intelligence sources,” according to the indictment.
Lee left the CIA in 2007 and got a job at a tobacco company in Hong Kong – after he was fired from that company in 2009, he became desperate for income and it was at this time that Chinese agents began recruiting him.
In a meeting, Chinese intel officers offered Lee a gift of $100,000 cash if he cooperated.
After that meeting, according to the indictment, Lee’s Chinese contacts delivered more than 20 envelopes between 2010 and 2011 spelling out specific tasks they wanted him to perform, most of which asked him to reveal sensitive information.
The indictment states that Lee traveled to mainland China in July 2012. The next month, when Lee was on a trip from Hong Kong to the US, authorities carried out a search warrant in a Honolulu hotel room and found secret information in his luggage, including the real names of CIA assets.
Speaking of China and spying, why wasn’t the Chinese spy who was on Senator Dianne Feinstein’s payroll for 20 years indicted?