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Ex-CIA officer charged with conspiracy to commit espionage

A former CIA case officer was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

A press release from the DOJ announced that Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a Hong Kong-born former CIA officer who left the agency in 2007, had been charged with attempting to provide documents and other information to the Chinese government.

“Lee, a former CIA case officer, allegedly conspired to provide information to the Chinese government about the national defense of the United States. Lee’s alleged actions betrayed the American people and his former colleagues at the CIA. We will not tolerate such threats to our country or its national security,” assistant Attorney General John Demers said in the release.
According to the press release, Lee moved to Hong Kong after leaving the CIA in 2007 and was approached three years later by Chinese intelligence officials who asked him to provide information and documents related to U.S. national defense.

Lee then allegedly “prepared documents responsive to the taskings, made numerous unexplained cash deposits, and repeatedly lied to the U.S. government during voluntary interviews,” according to the release.

The former agent was apprehended in 2012 when FBI agents conducted two searches of his hotel rooms and luggage upon his return to the United States, finding unauthorized handwritten notes containing classified information.

Lee is charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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