OverviewPERSERECEspionage Cases2005-08

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2005 - 2008

2008 - BEN-AMI KADISH, 84, was arrested 22 April 2008 on four counts. Three were subsequently dropped, and in December 2008 he pleaded guilty to the one: conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the government of Israel. Kadish, a mechanical engineer, worked for the US Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center at the Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey, from 1963 until 1990. On numerous occasions from 1980 to 1985, Kadish provided classified documents related to the US military, including some relating to US missile defense systems, to an agent of Israel, Yossi Yagur. Yagur, an Israeli citizen, was consul for science affairs at the Israeli Consulate General in Manhattan between 1980 and 1985. He was also Jonathan Pollard’s handler. (Pollard is currently serving a life sentence for espionage on behalf of Israel.) Yagur would provide Kadish with shopping lists of classified documents for Kadish to obtain from the US Army library at Picatinny. The documents—some 50 to 100—concerned nuclear weapons, the F-15 jet program and the Patriot missile system. Kadish stopped passing information toYagur in 1985 but kept in contact with him over the years via telephone and email and visited him in Israel in 2004. There is no evidence in open sources that Kadish was acting for financial gain; rather, he acted out of a desire to help Israel. Kadish was born in Connecticut and is a US citizen. He grew up in Palestine and served in both the British and American military during World War II. At the time of his arrest he was living with his wife in a retirement community in New Jersey. The FBI arrived on Kadish’s doorstep in March 2008 to interview him. The following day, Kadish called Yagur, now also retired and living in Israel, and was instructed by Yagur to deny any involvement. (It is not clear from open sources what prompted the FBI visit to Kadish in 2008, 25 years after his activities for Israel, although it is speculated that there may be a connection between Kadish and the Pollard case and that there may have been a larger Israeli spy ring in the US in the mid-1980s than originally thought.) On 29 May 2009, he eventually was fined $50,000, but not given prison time.

cicentre.com n.d., “Counterintelligence – Espionage – Spy Case – Kadish, Ben-Ami”
Washington Post 23 Apr 2008, “Ex-Prosecutor: New Arrest Shows Reach of 1980s Spy Ring”
US Attorney, Southern District of New York, Press Release 30 Dec 2008, “Former U.S. Army Arsenal Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Act as Unregistered Agent of Israel”
Washington Post 31 Dec 2008, “Retiree Pleads Guilty to Giving U.S. Secrets to Israel in the 1980s”


2008 - TAI SHEN KUO, 58, a naturalized US citizen born in Taiwan, imported furniture from China and had a store in New Orleans at the time of his arrest on 11 February 2008 for spying for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). A member of a prominent Taiwanese family, Kuo had immigrated to the US in 1972, attending college in Louisiana before building his own business in New Orleans, primarily involving furniture. He maintained an office in Beijing and took steps towards establishing two companies in the US to pursue contracts related to the US sale of defense technology to Taiwan. Masquerading as a Taiwanese agent when in fact he was working for the Beijing government, Kuo cultivated a relationship with GREGG WILLIAM BERGERSEN, a 51-year-old Pentagon weapons systems policy analyst in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the agency that implements DoD’s foreign military sales program. From Bergersen Kuo obtained sensitive and classified national defense information regarding US military sales to Taiwan. The period of espionage was March 2007 until February 2008. An unidentified Chinese agent (referred to in the government’s affidavit as “PRC Official A”) gave Kuo instructions on what information and documents to collect. Kuo is believed to have received $50,000 from PRC Official A, who had lured Kuo into espionage with promises of helping him secure business deals in China. In turn, Kuo gave thousands of dollars in gambling money and trips to Las Vegas to Bergersen, who provided Kuo with the requested information. Bergersen passed classified documents to Kuo, believing that the information was to be given to Taiwan, an American ally, and also that Kuo would eventually give him a post-retirement job in Kuo’s future defense consulting firm. A third person in the ring was YU XIN KANG, 33, a Chinese national resident alien who had met Kuo in Beijing years earlier and by 2007 was an employee in Kuo’s New Orleans furniture company. Kang periodically acted as a go-between for Kuo and PRC Official A, carrying documents to Beijing where she had an apartment. Kuo was sentenced on 8 August 2008 to nearly 16 years in prison for being an unregistered agent of the PRC. Bergersen pleaded guilty in April 2008 and agreed to help federal authorities build their case against his co-conspirators; on 11 July 2008 he was given a 57-month sentence, plus three years’ supervised release. Kang was sentenced on 1 August 2008 to 18 months and three years of supervised release for aiding and abetting an unregistered agent of the PRC. In May 2009 another individual, a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, was charged with giving classified data to China via Kuo; he has pleaded not guilty.

Times-Picayune 1 Apr 2008, “Arms Analyst Admits Role in Spy Ring”
New York Times 10 Jul 2008, “Spy Cases Raise Concern on China’s Intentions”
Department of Justice Press Release 1 Aug 2008, “New Orleans Woman Sentenced to Prison for Aiding and Abetting Unregistered Agent of China”
New York Times 8 Aug 2008, “US Man Who Spied for China Gets Nearly 16 Years”


2008 - JOHN REECE ROTH, 70, a retired University of Tennessee (UT) professor and expert on plasma physics, was indicted in May 2008 for illegally exporting to China sensitive, restricted, military information related to plasma technology designed to be deployed on the wings of drones. Dr. Roth was accused of passing information to the Chinese research assistant working on the contract, a doctoral candidate at UT. Roth was also accused of taking reports and related studies in his laptop to China during a lecture tour in 2006 and having one restricted report emailed to him there through a Chinese professor’s Internet connection. The indictment alleged, among other things, that Roth did not obtain permission to take the sensitive documents to China and lied to the Defense Department about his employment of a Chinese graduate student (he also employed graduate students from Iran and UK). All this activity was in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). In 2004, Roth became a subcontractor to Atmospheric Glow Technology, Inc. (AGT), a spin-off of UT to market commercial applications of UT’s plasma sciences lab that Roth had previously headed. The company had been granted a US Air Force contract. Because of the sensitive nature of the program, the parties allegedly agreed that no foreign nationals would work on the project. And in fact Roth first hired an American student to handle the export control data and the Chinese student to work on nonsensitive materials in the lab. That plan fell apart, however, when the arrangement slowed down progress, and soon the two students began sharing information. Roth was told by university officials that he was violating the law in allowing foreign nationals to work on a military defense project. Roth, on the other hand, believed that a project only became export-controlled when the research had netted an actual product; and in this case, the work was not finished. A federal jury convicted Roth on 3 September 2008 on 18 counts of conspiracy, fraud, and violating the AECA. The former director of plasma science at AGT, DANIEL SHERMAN, and AGT itself, were also indicted and both have entered into plea bargains. Sherman pleaded guilty in June 2009 and will be sentenced 28 July 2009. UT cooperated in the investigation and was listed as a victim in one of the charges against Roth. This is one of the first cases in which the government has sought to punish an individual or organization for distributing scientific know-how (rather than equipment) to foreign graduate students working on military research contracts in violation of the AECA. Roth was sentenced on 1 July 2009 to 4 years in prison for passing sensitive defense information to two foreign national research assistants, one from Iran and another from China.

cicentre.com n.d., “Roth, J. Reece” Knoxville News Sentinel 26 Aug 2008, “Roth was Warned, Lawyers Allege” Knoxville News Sentinel 3 Sep 2008, “Roth’s Mind-Set on Trial” Philosophy of Science Portal (philosophyofscenceportal.blogspot.com) 4 Sep 2008, “J. Reece Roth Conviction” Washington Post 4 Sep 2008, “Professor is Convicted of Sharing Technology” WorldTribune.com 16 Sep 2008, “China Got Strategic Drone Tech From Grad Student in Tennessee Spy Case”


2008 - QUAN-SHENG SHU, 68, a Ph.D. physicist, a naturalized US citizen born in Shanghai, was president, secretary and treasurer of AMAC International, a high-tech company with offices in Beijing. The R&D company was based at the Applied Research Center in Newport News, Virginia. Shu was arrested in September 2008 and pleaded guilty 17 November 2008 to charges that he illegally exported sensitive space launch technical data and defense services to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and offered bribes to Chinese government officials. He admitted that from 2003 through October 2007 he violated the US arms export control law by providing the PRC with assistance in the design and development of a cryogenic fueling system for space launch vehicles. He also admitted that in 2003 he violated the same law by exporting to China military technical data from a document about designing and making a liquid hydrogen tank and various pumps, valves, filters and instruments. At the same time Shu pleaded guilty to offering bribes of nearly $190,000, on behalf of a French company that he represented, to Chinese government officials to win a $4 million contract for a hydrogen liquefier project. Shu was sentenced 7 April 2009 to 51 months in prison.

Digitajournal.com 25 Sep 2008, “More Chinese Espionage Involving Rocket Plans”
Department of Justice News Release 17 Nov 2008, “Virginia Physicist Pleads Guilty To Illegally Exporting Space Launch Data to China and Offering Bribes to Chinese”
Washington Post 9 Apr 2009, “Physicist Sentenced to Prison for Helping China”


2007 - HASSAN ABU-JIHAAD (formerly Paul R. Hall), a Navy signalman honorably discharged in 2002, was arrested on 27 March 2007, in Phoenix, Arizona, charged with providing classified information on ship movements to al-Qaida operatives in London. These operatives maintained a network of websites believed to be a conduit for money and weapons to al-Qaida. A search of the network operator’s apartment by British law enforcement officers in December 2003 revealed a floppy disk with an email reportedly containing information about ship movements, armaments, vulnerabilities and the formation of a US naval battle group allegedly provided by the ex-seaman. As a signalman aboard the USS Benfold, Abu-Jihaad held a Secret security clearance and had access to all compromised information. He was accused of having informed his al-Qaida contact that the Benfold would be particularly vulnerable to rocket-propelled grenades from a small ship as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz. He pleaded not guilty to all charges of espionage. At his trial the presiding judge advised jurors that whoever provided the compromised information to al-Qaida did so with the intent to kill US citizens. Sentencing, originally set for May 2008, was delayed as defense attorneys petitioned the court for a new trial on the grounds that the evidence did not conclusively link their client with the compromised information. Abu-Jihaad was convicted of espionage on 6 March 2008. He had converted to Islam and changed his name in 1997. Eight months later he enlisted in the Navy. Following his discharge, he worked for the United Parcel Service. In March 2009, a federal judge dismissed his conviction for providing support to terrorists, but upheld his conviction for disclosing classified information. On 3 April 2009 Abu-Jihaad was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Courant New Haven, CT 26 Feb 2008, “Sailor’s Terror Trial Opens with Story of Discovery”
The Advocate Stamford, CT 28 Feb 2008, “Prosecutors Try to Show Leaked Documents Matched Ship Movements”
New York Times 29 Feb 2008, “Prosecutors Rest in Navy Terrorism Case”
Department of Justice Press Release, 6 Mar 2008, “Jury Finds Former Member of U.S. Navy Guilty of Terrorism and Espionage Charges”


2007 - ROY L. OAKLEY, 67, was formerly employed as a laborer and security escort by Bechtel Jacobs at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) in Oakridge, Tennessee. The plant had previously been operated by the Department of Energy as a facility to produce highly enriched uranium. The plant was closed in 1987 and turned over Bechtel Jacobs for cleanup. While employed at ETTP in 2006 and 2007, Oakley had a security clearance that permitted him access to classified and protected materials, including instruments, appliances and information related to the gaseous diffusion process for enriching uranium. Some of these items were classified as Restricted. For reasons unclear in open sources, the FBI initiated an undercover investigation against Oakley and, in January 2007, contacted him using an undercover agent assuming the role of an agent of a foreign government. In telephone calls and face-to-face meetings with the undercover agent, Oakley had stated that he had taken certain parts of uranium enrichment fuel rods or tubes and other associated hardware items from the ETTP and that he wanted to sell these materials for $200,000 to the foreign government. Once he had handed over the materials to the agent and had been given $200,000, Oakley was confronted by FBI agents and admitted to trying to sell these materials. He had no contact with actual foreign governments, terrorists or criminal groups and appeared to have been motivated solely by greed. Oakley was indicted in July 2007. On 26 January 2009, the day his trial was slated to begin, Oakley pleaded guilty to Count 1 of the indictment charging him with unlawful disclosure of Restricted Data under the Atomic Energy Act. On 18 June 2009, Oakley was sentenced to six years in prison, after which he will be on supervised release for three years.

New York Times 20 Jul 2007, “Worker Indicted on Charges of Trying to Sell Nuclear Equipment” Department of Justice News Release 26 Jan 2009, “Former Oak Ridge Complex Employee Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Disclosure of Restricted Atomic Energy Data”


2006 - MATTHEW M. DIAZ, a staff attorney with the US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, was charged in August 2006 with the unauthorized disclosure of the names of the 551 Guantanamo Bay detainees while stationed there as a Navy lawyer. After some two weeks of indecision, he had mailed—between December 2004 and March 2005—to a civil rights attorney in New York the classified names, months before the Department of Defense was eventually forced to release the same names as a result of Freedom of Information requests. The civil rights attorney in New York turned over the file to the FBI whose agents tracked down Diaz and arrested him on charges of five felony counts, including the disclosure of classified information that could aid American foreign enemies. The Supreme Court had upheld the Guantanamo prisoners’ rights to challenge their detention in habeas corpus proceedings, but six months later the government was still challenging the court’s order, insisting the prisoners had no legal rights and certainly no right to counsel. Pentagon officials said they were keeping prisoners’ names secret for the prisoners’ own protection, but this made it difficult for potential defense attorneys to file petitions on their behalf. Tried by military court-martial in May 2007, Diaz was convicted of violating orders by passing classified information that could be used to harm the US to someone outside the government. He was sentenced on 17 May to six months’ confinement and was later stripped of his license to practice military law.

Jurist Legal News & Research 30 Oct 2006, “Navy Postpones Hearing for Gitmo Military Lawyer Accused of Leaking Detainee Names”
New York Times 21 Oct 2007, “Naming Names at Gitmo”


2006 - GARY MAZIARZ, 37, a reserve gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps, was arrested October 2006, accused of being part of a theft ring at Camp Pendleton, California. Documents stolen included classified computer files on potential terrorists that Mariarz shared with military reserve officers who worked with anti-terrorism units of police departments in Los Angeles County. One of the officers was a Marine reserve colonel and detective with the Los Angeles sheriff’s department, a counterterrorism specialist and allegedly the instigator of the enterprise; he was also the founder of the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group, a task force of law enforcement agencies. Maziarz pleaded guilty in July 2007 to mishandling more than 100 classified documents. He also named three senior reserve officers at Camp Pendleton, along with two sergeants who were charged in June 2008. The officers are still under investigation. There was no indication that any information had been passed to foreign agents. Mariarz claimed at his court-martial he knew his group was violating security regulations. But he said that he had acted out of patriotism in attempting to break down the bureaucratic walls between military and civilian agencies that he felt were hampering intelligence sharing and coordination and thus making the nation more vulnerable to terrorists. Indeed, transferring classified information to uncleared persons, even if they were employed by US agencies, was a clear violation of security rules. In July 2007 Mariarz was convicted. In a plea agreement he agreed, in exchange for a short 26-month prison sentence, to testify against his alleged co-conspirators and not to speak with the media. In November 2008, he broke his agreement by telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that “dozens of files” that were passed were dossiers on Muslims and Arabs living in Southern California. The FBI denies it monitors such groups. It was purely by chance that the theft ring was exposed. In October 2006 a colonel at Camp Pendleton reported to Navy special agents that trophy weapons, brought from Iraq by the Marines, were missing. An internal investigation focused on Maziarz, who had worked in Iraq. He had stockpiled the stolen goods in his apartment and in storage units in California and Virginia. Since investigators not only found stashes of Iraqi weapons and war memorabilia, but also classified documents, the investigation broadened to include espionage.

Washington Post 5 Jan 2007, “Theft Probe Leads to N. Va. Storage Site”
Secrecy News 12 Oct 2007, “Information Sharing, by Hook or by Crook”
San Diego Union-Tribune 18 Jul 2008, “2 Marines Charged in Secrets Theft Ring”
San Diego Union-Tribune 17 Nov 2008, “Former Marine Outlines Secret Dossiers; Muslims, Arabs Not Targeted, FBI Says”


2006 - ARIEL JONATHAN WEINMANN, 22 at the time of his sentencing, joined the Navy in 2003, having recently graduated from high school in Salem, Oregon. That same year he had met a girl with whom he fell in love. However, her anti-war parents did not approve of her dating a sailor. In the Navy he became a fire control technician, which involved operating and maintaining submarine weapons systems. Weinmann deployed to the submarine, USS Albuquerque. He quickly became unhappy with life on the sub, describing it as “morally corrupt.” After his tour of duty he returned home to be informed by his girlfriend that her parents did not approve of the relationship and that she was being sent to college in Switzerland. The next day he told her that if he did not hear from her by his October birthday, he would move on with his life. Following her departure, Weinmann moved to Austria to be near her. Before he left for Austria, he downloaded classified information from the ship’s database that he hoped would gain him asylum in Austria. These documents included biographical information on 29 prominent Austrians that the US government had compiled and also technical manuals on the Tomahawk cruise missile system. With his $7,000 savings, he arrived in Vienna at the beginning of July 2005. The October deadline passed with no word from the girlfriend, and that same month he entered the Russian Embassy in Vienna, handing the official a binder full of classified documents on the Tomahawk system. He never heard back from the official. When he realized that he had given away his only leverage, Weinmann decided to go to Russia to seek asylum there. However, that meant returning to the US first. On 26 March 2006, he flew from Mexico City to Dallas Fort Worth where he was arrested by US Customs agents because his name appeared on a deserter watch list. However, apparently he had not given away all his classified documents; some were found in his backpack, which led to the espionage charges. Weinmann pleaded guilty at court-martial to espionage, desertion, theft, and destruction of military property. He was sentenced 10 December 2006 to 25 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank, and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. A plea agreement limited his prison sentence to 12 years and he will be eligible for parole after four.

Virginian-Pilot 10 Dec 2006, “Why a Patriotic Teen Joined the Navy and Then Turned to Espionage”
StatesmanJournal.com (Salem, OR) 11 Dec 2006, “Jilted Love, Not Political Intrigue, Drove a Salem Man to Espionage”


2005 - LEANDRO ARAGONCILLO, a naturalized US citizen of Filipino origin, was arrested on 10 September 2005, charged with passing classified intelligence reports regarding the Philippines to current and former officials of that country during a period when he worked at the White House and, later, in 2005, from his FBI office. The material was passed to MICHAEL RAY AQUINO, a former deputy director of the Philippines National Police and a Philippine national who was then living in New York. Aragoncillo passed documents to Aquino by way of cell phone text messages, email and CDs. The documents then were transferred to opposition politicians in the Philippines. Aragoncillo came to the US in 1982, and joined the Marine Corps in 1983, retiring in 2004 as a sergeant. He had been assigned (1999-2002) to the White House as staff assistant to military advisors in the Office of the Vice President, serving under Vice Presidents Gore and Cheney. President Clinton introduced Aragoncillo to Philippine president, Joseph Estrada, at the White House during Estrada’s official state visit to the US in 2000. Aragoncillo handed Estrada his card. Later he was approached by an Estrada associate and asked to pass along American intelligence that could be used to save Estrada’s presidency. (Estrada was eventually removed from office through impeachment in 2001.) Thus, while working for Cheney, Aragoncillo began stealing information about Filipino politicians and American policy towards the Philippines. He would walk out of the White House on a fairly regular basis with disks of classified documents in his bag and even use the White House fax to send documents directly to the Philippines. When his White House assignment ended in 2002, Aragoncillo sought positions in other parts of government, eventually in 2004 landing a job as an intelligence analyst at the FBI’s Information Technology Center. From there he resumed sending classified documents via his courier, Aquino, to Filipino opposition politicians, who were trying to overthrow Estrada’s successor, President Gloria Arroyo. The FBI’s investigation began after Aragoncillo intervened with US immigration officials on behalf of Aquino, who was facing deportation for overstaying his visa. Suspicious officials notified the FBI, who began an audit of Aragoncillo’s computer activities at his FBI office. They discovered that he had been making unauthorized queries of FBI databases and printing or downloading classified documents related to the Philipppines. Aragoncillo was sentenced on 16 July 2007 to 10 years in prison, Aquino to six years and four months. In February 2009 it was determined that Aquino’s sentence was based on a mistaken interpretation of federal guidelines and that his new sentence would range from 36 to 46 months, to include time already served since September 2005.

cicentre.com n.d., “Espionage/Spy Case: Leandro Aragoncillo and Michael Ray Aquino”
FoxNews.com 12 Sep 2005, “FBI Analyst, Filipino Charged With Spying”
New York Times 13 Sep 2005, “Two Men are Charged with Passing Secrets to Philippines”
Reuters 18 Jul 2007, “Ex-Cheney Aide Gets 10 Years in Prison in Spy Case”
Newsday.com 6 Feb 2009, “Court Vacates Sentence of Filipino in Spy Case”


2005 - LAWRENCE ANTHONY FRANKLIN, an intelligence analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, Iran desk, held a Top Secret clearance with access to sensitive compartmented information. The FBI filed criminal charges against Franklin 3 May 2005, accusing him of passing, from 2002 to 2004, classified military information about Iran and Iraq to two pro-Israel lobbyists, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, and to an Israeli diplomat. Rosen and Weissman were senior staff members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel lobbying organization. Their own prosecution in the same case was novel in that neither held security clearances that required them to protect U.S. classified information. Franklin pleaded guilty in October 2005 to three felony counts in exchange for his cooperation and the government’s willingness to drop three other charges. He was sentenced in January 2006 to 12 years and seven months in prison and a $10,000 fine. This relatively lenient sentence reflected the judge’s impression that Franklin had been driven by a desire to help, not damage, the US. Franklin was not to begin his sentence until after legal proceedings against Rosen and Weissman were completed, at which time his sentence might be reduced. Meanwhile, Franklin remained free on bail. On 1 May 2009 prosecutors announced that they were abandoning the charges against Rosen and Weissman and then, on 12 June 2009, Franklin’s sentence was reduced to probation, with 10 months of home confinement.

BBCnews.com 20 Jan 2006, “Pentagon Man Jailed Over Spying”
New York Times 1 Dec 2006, “Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information”
Federation of American Scientists 23 Jun 2008, “Court Narrows Scope of Appeal in AIPAC Case”
Washington Post 1 May 2009, “Charges to be Dropped Against Two Former AIPAC Lobbyists”
Washington Post 12 Jun 2009, “Sentence Reduced in Pentagon Case”


2005 - CHI MAK, 68 at the time of sentencing and a former employee of Anaheim-based Power Paragon, Inc., was arrested on 28 October 2005. Mak, along with his wife (Rebecca Chiu), brother (Tai Mak), sister-in-law (Fuk Li) and nephew (Billy), was charged with conspiring to steal sensitive military information as well as failing to register as an agent of a foreign government. As a lead project engineer at Power Paragon, a defense contractor, Mak aided the US Navy with its research project on a Quiet Electric Drive (QED) propulsion system that would reduce a vessel’s sound signature. Mak was born in China in 1940 and moved to the US in 1978. He and his wife became citizens in 1985 and lived in a Los Angeles suburb. Mak held a steady job where he was regularly promoted and rewarded. His job gave him access to sensitive plans for Navy ships, submarines, and weapons, including details of the electrical power system in Virginia-class submarines that, if provided to the Chinese, would allow them to track the submarines. The five defendants were accused specifically of transferring data onto three encrypted disks that Tai Mak and Fuk Li attempted to transport to China in October 2005. One piece of evidence against the group was a to-do list of intelligence targets, written in Chinese and said to be instructions from Beijing on the kinds of technology Mak should try to acquire. While not all the materials sent to China over time may have been formally classified, Mak’s conspiracy to pass them constituted a violation of US export control laws. Mak was arrested in Los Angeles after FBI agents stopped his brother and sister-in-law as they boarded a flight to China. The disks they carried contained information on a submarine propulsion system, a solid-state power switch for ships, and a PowerPoint presentation on the future of power electronics. Mak was convicted on 11 May 2007 of conspiracy to violate export control laws and failing to register as a foreign agent. He was sentenced on 25 March 2008 to 24½ years in prison and fined $50,000. His wife was sentenced to three years (plus an agreement to renounce her US citizenship and return to China on her release); Mak’s brother Tai Mak received a 10-year sentence, Tai’s wife three years’ probation, and son Billy, 11 months (time already served in custody). Tai Mak and his family are not American citizens and will be deported after completing their sentences.

Washington Post 6 Jun 2007, “Plea Deal Ends China Tech Export Case”
Los Angeles Times 7 June 2007, “5th Defendant in Spy Case Pleads Guilty”
Washington Times 25 Mar 2008, “Spy for China Gets 24 Years”
Los Angeles Times 22 Apr 2008, “Man Gets 10 Years in China Spy Case”
Los Angeles Times 3 Oct 2008, “3-Year Sentence in China Spy Case”


2005 - ALMALIKI NOUR, in 1998 used a false identity on forms applying for US citizenship. In 2003 he used the same alias to get a position as an Arabic translator for the L-3 Titan Corporation, which provides translation services in Iraq for US military personnel. Once working for Titan, he was granted Secret and Top Secret security clearances based on the same false identity. Later, in 2004 during his second year-long assignment as a translator and interpreter in an intelligence unit of the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq in the Sunni Triangle, Nour took several classified documents from the US Army without authorization. These included the coordinates of insurgents’ locations which the US Army was targeting and plans for protecting Sunnis on their pilgrimage to Mecca. He also photographed a classified battle map of a base near Najaf. In September 2005, and apparently in response to some security concern, the FBI and military investigators first interviewed Nour in Iraq. He was arrested the same month at his apartment in Brooklyn, New York, and was charged the next month with lying to federal officials on three occasions: on his naturalization application (he became naturalized February 2000), on his application for a security clearance (2003), and in interviews connected with the renewal of his clearance. It is unclear what specifically brought Nour to the investigators’ attention, but he had originally claimed to have been a Lebanese born in 1960, that he had never married, and that his parents had been killed in Beirut, all untrue. After his arrest, Nour admitted that he was actually Moroccan, born in 1959 and married, and that his parents were alive and living in Morocco. A search of his apartment by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force turned up a Moroccan power of attorney and other records showing that he had wired large sums of money (equal to a year’s salary) to a woman in Morocco believed to be his wife. It was during this search that investigators found the classified documents taken from Iraq. An official for the New York FBI said: “He lied to attain his U.S. citizenship. He lied to gain employment with a government contractor. And he lied to obtain security clearances. Through serial deception an eminently untrustworthy person inveigled his way into a position of trust, and he abused that trust.” Nour was not charged with terrorism or espionage. He had first pleaded guilty in December 2005 to using a false identity to acquire US citizenship. Later, on 14 February 2007, he pleaded guilty to being in unauthorized possession of classified documents. On 19 May 2008, he was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison and was stripped of his citizenship.

Washington Times 22 Oct 2005, “Linguist in Iraq Accused of Fraud”
Washington Post 15 Feb 2007, “Translator Who Faked Identity Pleads Guilty to Having Secret Data”
Department of Justice 19 May 2008, “U.S. Army Translator Sentenced to 121 Months’ Imprisonment…”


2005 - HAFIZ AHMED ALI SHAABAN SHAABAN, a 52-year-old a truck driver in Greenfield, Indiana, was arrested on 1 March 2005, accused of traveling to Iraq prior to the 2003 US invasion and offering to sell the names of US intelligence operatives in that country to agents of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Intelligence Service. In a bugged hotel room in Baghdad he promised to acquire these names from a third party and demanded $3,000,000 as payment. (The deal fell apart after Shaaban returned to the US and could not produce the promised documents.) He also sought to gain Iraqi support to establish an Arabic TV station in the US that would broadcast pro-Iraqi material and he offered to organize volunteers to act as human shields to protect Iraqi infrastructure in the coming war. Shaaban, a Palestinian who was born in Jordan, became a naturalized US citizen by using fraudulent identification. He is believed to have been in the US since 1993. Earlier, in 1972, he had lived in Moscow where he married his first wife whose whereabouts are now unknown. The prosecution alleged that during his stay in Moscow Shaaban received training from Russian intelligence agents. One news report suggested that he had been a Soviet-trained mining engineer, another that he actually held Russian citizenship. The jury rejected Shaaban’s claims that prosecutors had him confused with a dead twin brother and that the CIA had sent him to Iraq as part of a “psychological war” preceding the US invasion in 2003. Shaaban, who refused legal counsel and defended himself in court, was found guilty of conspiracy against the US, acting as a foreign agent without notification to the US Attorney General, violation of sanctions against Iraqi under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, unlawful procurement of an identification document, fraudulently acquiring US naturalization, and tampering with a witness. Shaaban was sentenced 27 May 2006 to 13 years and four months in prison and is now incarcerated in the maximum-security prison in Colorado, far from his second wife and son who still live in Indiana. He has been stripped of his US citizenship.

Department of Justice 25 Jan 2006, “Local Man Convicted of Working with Former Iraqi Intelligence Officers”
Indianapolis Star 6 Nov 2006, “Convicted in Spy Case, Locked Away in Secrecy”


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