Former CIA Officer Charged With Providing Classified Information to China

Matt Gluck
Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 12:14 PM

The Justice Department finds that a former CIA and FBI official provided sensitive intelligence information to the Chinese government for almost a decade.

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The Department of Justice has charged former CIA officer Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, a United States citizen, with conspiring to disclose classified information to Chinese Ministry of State Security officials. An FBI affidavit alleges that Ma’s disclosures went on for almost ten years. Ma worked for the CIA from 1982-1989 then began working for the FBI in 2004. The Justice Department also identified another former CIA officer who allegedly assisted Ma in his effort to provide sensitive U.S. information to Chinese officials.

The affidavit alleges that Ma began providing classified information to Chinese officials in 2001. According to the affidavit, from 2004-2010, in his position as a Chinese language linguist for the FBI, Ma regularly gathered classified documents intending to give them to Ministry of State officials during his trips to China. The day before Ma began working for the FBI, he allegedly said during a telephone conversation with a suspected accomplice that he would work for “the other side.”

The affidavit alleges that Ma took photographs of classified documents, sent emails to Chinese officials regarding classified intelligence information and made phone calls with Chinese security officers regarding his alleged espionage activities. The Justice Department also alleges that Ma regularly communicated with China about compensation for his providing of information.

According to the affidavit, in 2019, an undercover FBI agent met with Ma on multiple occasions. During one of the meetings, Ma allegedly said he had provided China with information and that, if there was an opportunity, he would continue to assist the Chinese government.

You can read the report here and below.

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.

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