The Department of Justice (DoJ) has issued a report that a 60-year-old resident of Leesburg, Virginia, has been arrested and charged with espionage. Kevin Mallory, a consultant with a former Top Secret security clearance, has been formally charged in federal court with passing classified information to a Chinese agent in March and April of 2017.
In March, Mallory traveled to Shanghai, China. During that time, federal prosecutors say, he met with a person (referred to as PRC1 in the DoJ brief) he believed to be an agent of the People's Republic of China Intelligence Service (PRCIS). If found guilty of the charges, he could face 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 federal attorney who announced the charges.
"Kevin Mallory was previously entrusted with Top Secret clearance and therefore had access to classified information, which he allegedly shared and planned to continue sharing with representatives of a foreign government," said Andrew Vale, Assistant Director of the FBI's field office in Washington, DC. "Furthermore, he allegedly misled investigators in a voluntary interview about sharing of this classified information.
The FBI will continue to investigate those individuals who put out national security at risk through unauthorized disclosures of information."
During the voluntary interview referred to by Vale, Mallory told the FBI that PRC1 claimed to be a member of the think tank the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS).
The FBI believes that PRCIS agents often claim to be members of SASS as their cover identity.
Mallory admitted that he met with PRC1 and allowed the FBI to search a device he had used to converse with his Chinese contact.
Analysis of the device found a Top Secret file stored in its index, as well as two Secret files.
The device also contained instructions on how to access the files.
Mallory used to be a member of the US intelligence community before leaving intelligence in 2012.
He now works for GlobalEx LLC, a truck driving company.
Prosecutors did not say as to how they believe he acquired the classified files.