Several arrested in Chinese spy sweep

Bill Gertz - Washington Times - February 11, 2008

The FBI today arrested a Pentagon official and two Chinese-born residents on espionage charges for passing defense secrets to China, the Justice Department announced.

Gregg William Bergersen, 51, of Alexandria, was arrested at his home on espionage charges. Tai Shen Kuo, a Taiwan-born U.S. citizen, 58, and Yu Xin Kang, a Chinese national, 33, both of New Orleans, were arrested in New Orleans on charges of conspiracy to provide defense secrets to China.

Mr. Bergersen worked as a weapons system analyst for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in Arlington, which is in charge of U.S. arms sales to foreign nations. He held a top-secret clearance.

One official said the case involved the transfer of command, control, communications and intelligence equipment originally sold to Taiwan that was diverted to China.

Court papers state that the three men conspired to transfer defense secrets during meetings with Chinese intelligence officials.

"Today's prosecution demonstrates that foreign spying remains a serious threat," said Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security.

Mr. Wainstein said in a statement that the case has "all the elements of a classic espionage operation: a foreign government focused on accessing our military secrets; foreign operatives who effectively use stealth and guile to gain that access; and an American government official who is willing to betray both his oath of public office and the duty of loyalty we rightly demand from every American citizen."

Such spy networks "pose a grave danger to our national security, and we should all thank the investigators and prosecutors on this case for effectively penetrating and dismantling this network before more sensitive information was compromised," he said.

Meanwhile, a former Boeing engineer was arrested this morning after being indicted last week on charges of economic espionage and acting as an unregistered Chinese agent.

Dongfan "Greg" Chung, 72, of Orange, Calif., a Rockwell International engineer until the company was bought by Boeing in 1996, was arrested at his home in Orange, Calif.

Mr. Chung, was indicted Wednesday on eight counts of economic espionage, one count of conspiracy to commit economic espionage, one count of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, one count of obstruction of justice, and three counts of making false statements to FBI investigators.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Mr. Chung held a top-secret clearance.

"Certain foreign governments are committed to obtaining the American trade secrets that can advance the development of their military capabilities," said Mr. Wainstein in a statement.

"Todays case demonstrates that the Justice Department is equally committed to foiling those efforts through the arrest and prosecution of those who conduct economic espionage at the expense of our economic and national security."

The case involves the illegal transfer to China of Boeing Corp. trade secrets related to the space shuttle.

The investigation grew out of the Chi Mak and family Chinese spy case uncovered in 2006, said officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

That case involved the transfer to China of military technology related to U.S. Navy warships and submarines.

The case is expected to lead to a further curtailing of U.S.-China space cooperation, which was halted temporarily last year after China carried out an anti-satellite weapon test that left thousands of pieces of debris in low Earth orbit.