An FBI employee pleaded guilty Monday to acting as an undercover agent for the Chinese government, the Justice Department said Monday.
Kun Shan Chun, a Chinese native and naturalized U.S. citizen who had a Top Secret security clearance, was charged with collecting sensitive FBI information and transmitting it to Chinese business and government officials on multiple occasions.
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Chun had been working for the FBI’s New York Field Office since approximately 1997, before he was arrested in March after his office dispatched an undercover employee to meet Chun and record their conversations.
Chun told the FBI agent, who was acting undercover as a Chinese-born American citizen contracting for the Defense Department, that he was interested in passing along sensitive U.S. government information to Chinese government officials.
"Kun Shan Chun violated our nation’s trust by exploiting his official U.S. government position to provide restricted and sensitive FBI information to the Chinese government," John P. Carlin, the Justice Department’s assistant attorney general for national security, said in a written statement.
Chun could face up to 10 years in prison on charges of acting in the U.S. as a foreign agent.
The Justice Department reported Monday that Chun and some of his relatives had maintained relationships with multiple businessmen connected to Chinese-based manufacturer Kolion and at least one Chinese government official since 2009.
Chun performed research and collected information on technology issues for the Chinese associates in exchange for financial benefits.
Chun was previously charged with lying to federal authorities and failing to disclose his connections with foreign nationals during a 2012 background check.