Caught with a bag of cash and an electronic device used to communicate with his handlers, a former government official with years of military and intelligence experience is accused of spying for China.
Kevin Mallory of Leesburg, Virginia is charged with providing defense-related information to a foreign government and lying to federal agents.
Mallory allegedly provided several classified government documents to a Chinese contact, who initially claimed affiliation with a prestigious Shanghai think tank, in exchange for cash. Documents filed by federal prosecutors depict Mallory, an experienced Chinese-speaking former operative, as a bumbling spy who executed his treason clumsily.
Mallory’s career spanned decades and multiple government agencies. After graduating from Brigham Young University in 1981, he served as active duty military and then an Army reservist for several years. From 1987 to 2013, he worked for different government agencies and U.S. defense contractors — as well as the CIA, according to a report in the Washington Post. He held a top secret security clearance for much of that time and was posted to regions including Iraq, China, and Taiwan.
It was only this year that Mallory allegedly began to stray from the straight and narrow, according to court documents. A Chinese handler posing as an employee of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) made contact with Mallory during trips to China in March and April.
The SASS is a reputable and internationally known think tank. But it also maintains a close working relationship with the Shanghai State Security Bureau, a regional office of the Ministry of State Security, China’s intelligence arm.
In the following weeks, Mallory allegedly provided classified documents to Chinese intelligence officials in exchange for $25,000.
The FBI’s affidavit describing Mallory’s espionage activity appears to indicate that the former CIA officer tried to cover up his crimes. After he was stopped at Chicago’s…