A former CIA officer betrayed the US by giving Chinese spy information about human assets and other top secret information in exchange for $ 25,000, state prosecutors said.
A jury heard 60 statements from Leesburg, Va., On Wednesday in the trial of Kevin Mallory
Mallory, a former independent consultant, had become suspicious of the job offer of a Chinese think tank, said defense lawyer Geremy Kamens. Mallory had reportedly reported the job to the CIA, but the prosecution considered it an attempt to cover his tracks.
Defense lawyers countered that their client was a loyal American who merely harnessed the Chinese to make them reveal details
Mallory's plan was made in April 2017 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago during a return flight from Shanghai, when customs officials found $ 16,500 in unreported cash, prosecutor Jennifer Gellie told the jury. Gellie said that meeting had caused Mallory to turn to old CIA contacts to invent a cover story.
Mallory agreed to be questioned about his contacts in May 2017. Gellie said he was surprised during the interview when a Samsung phone given to him by the Chinese showed textual conversations between Mallory and the Chinese recruiter. Mallory had expected the phone's secured messaging features to hide the conversation, Gellie said.
Your goal is to get information, and my object should be paid.
In a Mallory wrote: "Your goal is to get information, and my object is to be paid."
Agents searched Mallory's house and found two small computer CDs containing top-secret documents. Mallory had sent some of the documents using the Samsung phone to the Chinese recruiter, Gellie said.
"Kevin Mallory decided to hand over the government secrets to an agent of the Chinese government," Gellie told the jury.
Kamens told Mallory his old CIA contacts months before he was reportedly scared by the airport inspection. CIA contacts testified Wednesday that Mallory had contacted her in February 2017.
The trial is being heard in the eastern district of Virginia, home to the CIA and the Pentagon. Nevertheless, espionage attempts are a rarity, as both sides have strong incentives to reach plea. The government is concerned about the disclosure of secrets, while the defendants are concerned about potentially harsh penalties.
If convicted, Mallory faces imprisonment.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.