FBI employee pleads guilty to spying, leaking ‘sensitive’ information to China

© Zachary Fagenson
After almost 20 years of service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a 46-year-old Chinese-born electronics technician pleaded guilty to spying for Beijing.

Kun Shan Chun told the federal court judge in New York on Monday that he was guilty of sharing sensitive US government information with China.

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According to court documents, Kun Shan Chun, a naturalized US citizen, was charged with acting as a Chinese agent between 2011 and 2016. Chun had worked as an electronics technician for the FBI from 1997, where he had top secret security clearance and access to classified government information until his arrest this March.

The prosecution believes that starting from at least 2006, Chun established connections in China, including at least one with a “Chinese Official,” which he failed to report to the FBI. In 2011, the 46-year-old started sharing US secrets with the Chinese.

“On multiple occasions prior to his arrest in March 2016, Chun collected sensitive FBI information and caused it to be transmitted to Chinese Official-1 and others, while at the same time engaging in a prolonged and concerted effort to conceal from the FBI his illicit relationships with these individuals,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

The court believes that Chun downloaded an organizational chart of the FBI and sent it to the “official”. The IT worker also stands accused of taking pictures of a sensitive area, with details about surveillance technologies used by the FBI. Prosecutors claim that in 2015, Chun told an undercover FBI agent posing as a potential buyer of US secrets that he would be willing to help pass sensitive information for a certain payment.

According to the criminal complaint, Chun also told an FBI agent that he had used the cash received from his Chinese connection to pay for prostitutes and cover some travel expenses.

“Americans who act as unauthorized foreign agents commit a federal offense that betrays our nation and threatens our security. And when the perpetrator is an FBI employee, like Kun Shan Chun, the threat is all the more serious and the betrayal all the more duplicitous. Thanks to the excellent investigative work of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, the FBI succeeded in identifying and rooting out this criminal misconduct from within its own ranks,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said at Monday's hearing.

Chun is scheduled to be sentenced in December and could potentially face 10 years behind bars.