As United States and China held a joint diplomatic and security dialogue on June 21, a U.S. government contractor and a former federal officer entrusted with access to top secret information was arrested on June 22 and charged with conducting espionage for China, according to federal prosecutors.
Kevin Patrick Mallory, of Leesburg, Virginia is facing charges of espionage for the People’s Republic of China after he transmitted classified documents to individuals suspected to be Chinese intelligence agents.
According to Department of Justice release, Kevin Mallory, a 60-year-old self-employed consultant with “GlobalEx LLC.” had previously served in a variety of U.S. federal government positions including the U.S. Army and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. Some media also reported that Mallory had worked for the CIA, citing unnamed government officials.
Court records: Kevin Mallory, charged with giving top-secret docs to Chinese agent, is Army vet & ex-special agent https://t.co/YW2eebLpMg pic.twitter.com/5vrE62QUm2
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) June 22, 2017
Mallory traveled to Shanghai, China in March and April 2017, where he met an individual who claimed to be working for a Chinese think tank, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS). The FBI has identified SASS as one of the organizations that provide cover identities for Chines intelligence agents employed by the Communist regime’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).
Department of Justice accused Mallory of leaking classified documents containing top secret and secret information to MSS agents in exchange for money. In total, Mallory was paid $25,000USD by the MSS intelligence agents to “reimburse” for his services to the Chinese.
“Your object is to gain information, and my object is to be paid for it,” Mallory wrote to the Chinese agents, to which one of them replied, “My current objective is to ensure your security and try to reimburse you.” According to the FBI criminal complaint.
Mallory is charged with gathering or delivering defense information to aid a foreign government, and making materially false statements to U.S. federal investigators. If convicted, Mallory faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
“The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious, and these charges should send a message to anyone who would consider violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information,” said Dana Boente, the acting assistant attorney general for national security and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
China is known for its clandestine activities which widely target U.S. government officials, workers, and even students who might compromise valuable information. In another high profile case two months ago, Candace Marie Claiborne, a senior State Department diplomatic officer was also arrested and charged with espionage for China. Similar to Kevin Mallory’s letter to the Chinese agents, Claiborne wrote in her journal that she could “generate 20K in 1 year” by betraying classified information from her work to the Chinese intelligence agents.
Claiborne might have betrayed information concerning the world renowned Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen in 2012, according to the FBI investigation. It is speculated that such a leak might have misinformed U.S. diplomats in their negotiations with the Chinese government regarding Chen’s case.