June 22 (UPI) -- A former State Department employee was arrested and charged with spying on the U.S. for the Chinese government.
Kevin Patrick Mallory, 60, is accused of transmitting Secret and Top Secret documents to China. The Department of Justice said in a statement that Mallory traveled to Shanghai in March and April to deliver the documents to whom he believed was a representative of the Chinese government.
"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 J. Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
"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 W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office. "
In an interview with the FBI, Mallory, who is fluent in Mandarin, said he was recruited by a Chinese "recruiter" via social media and met with two individuals he suspected of being part of the Chinese intelligence service, but denied having conducted any espionage.
But FBI agents found secret messages on a device used to communicate securely with one of the Chinese agents that said, "I can also come in the middle of June. I can bring the rest of the documents at that time."
Other messages indicated an exchange of money for top secret documents between Mallory and the Chinese agent.
When explaining why a part of a document was blacked out, Mallory explained: "I had to get it out without the chance of discovery. Unless read in detail, it appeared like a simple note...I have arranged for a [U.S. dollar] account in another name. You can send the funds into 4 equal payments over 4 consecutive days...When you agree, I will give you the bank instructions."
Mallory is a former Army reservist who worked as a special agent for the State Department Diplomatic Security Services between 1987 and 1990, according to a complaint filed by the FBI. After his stint with the State Department, he went on to work for various government agencies, government contractors, and was involved on active duty deployments as a member of the U.S. Army. He is currently a consultant with GlobalEx ,LLC