Kevin Patrick Mallory, 60, was arrested and charged Thursday with espionage and making false statements for allegedly delivering top-secret and secret documents to a suspected Chinese spy.
According to the criminal complaint, Mallory traveled to Shanghai in March and April and met with someone who represented himself as working for a Chinese think tank. However, the Chinese intelligence service often uses this organization as a cover for its intelligence officers, according to the FBI.
The Chinese intelligence agency is known to pay their sources not only in cash, but also through other means like business considerations.
According to the complaint, upon returning from Shanghai in April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) did a “secondary search” of Mallory when he arrived at Chicago O’Hare Airport.
During that search, CBP found $16,500 in his two carry-on bags, an amount he did not declare on his customs form, according to court documents.
Mallory allegedly told CBP that said he was in China on a business trip as well as a father/son vacation.
According to the complaint, between March and April, Mallory contacted former co-workers, to help put him in touch with an employee at a U.S. government agency, which is not specified in the court documents.
The complaint also stated that during a subsequent meeting he told the government employee that he was given a communication device from the Chinese contact and he had been trained to use it.
On May 24, he was planning to meet with that person again, but instead, he was greeted by FBI agents, at which point he volunteered to an interview and search of his device, according to the complaint.
He told FBI investigators that he believed the contact worked for the Chinese intelligence service and that he was a former U.S. government employee who had “training and overseas experience, which made it easy for him to spot tradecraft,” read the court documents.
He also told the FBI that he had been…