FBI employee gets two years in prison for acting as Chinese agent

NEW YORK - A former FBI employee in New York was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday after admitting that he illegally acted at the direction of a Chinese official to gather sensitive information.

Kun Shan Chun, also known as Joey Chun, was also ordered by US District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan to pay US$10,000 (S$14,200) after pleading guilty in August to having illegally acted as an agent of a foreign government.

Chun, a US citizen who was born in China, was arrested in March in connection with what prosecutors called a duplicitous betrayal of the FBI, which had employed him in its New York field office since 1997.

Prosecutors said that beginning in 2005, Chinese individuals claiming to be affiliated with a China-based printer products manufacturer called Zhuhai Kolion Technology Company Ltd solicited an investment from one of Chun's relatives.

Chun, 47, first met purported Kolion associates during a 2005 trip, and met them abroad at several other times, eventually meeting a Chinese official who asked him about the FBI and surveillance practices and targets, prosecutors said.

In turn, Chun provided the official an FBI organizational chart and photographs related to surveillance technologies, prosecutors said.

In exchange, Chun's associates paid for him to go on international trips, with travel that included stays in five-star hotels in France and Italy, a Mediterranean cruise and a European vacation, prosecutors said.

Chun also began a romantic relationship with a Chinese woman he met through these associates, who sometimes paid for prostitutes for him when they met abroad, prosecutors said.

By 2015, the FBI had begun investigating Chun, sending an undercover agent to meet him, prosecutors said.

Chun told the agent that "if you deal with the government, you know what they want," prosecutors said.

"They want what the American government is doing," he said, according to court papers.

"Either trying to copy it or ... information they want to know."

During a later meeting, in which they discussed selling classified information the agent provided, Chun said his Chinese associates had asked him about surveillance targets and if he had information on "who they watching," prosecutors said.

The sale never happened, after Chun said he believed he was under investigation and one of his associates told the him not to trust the agent, who may be part of a "set up."

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