A Singaporean national has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for recruiting U.S. government officers to collect valuable intelligence for the Chinese regime, the Justice Department announced on Oct. 9.
Jun Wei Yeo, who also goes by the name Dickson Yeo, admitted in July to soliciting non-public military and political information from unsuspecting U.S. government employees that he claimed was intended for clients in Asia, but was in fact passed off to Chinese state agents.
The intelligence the 39-year-old gathered, across approximately four years, included a military aircraft program, U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, and a report on a then-serving U.S. Cabinet member. He was arrested in November 2019 shortly after he returned to the United States, tasked with gathering more classified information for Beijing.
The punishment Yeo received on Friday was relatively light—two months shorter than what the federal prosecutors had recommended.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the decision took into account the virus infection concerns, and his cooperation with the U.S. authorities during the investigation. As he has already served 11 months in prison, he will be released in three months and deported back to Singapore upon completing the jail term.
Yeo expressed eagerness to be reunited with his family in Singapore and said he took full responsibility for what he had done, but added he still remained “sympathetic to the Chinese cause.”
“Politically, I do have sympathy. I admit that freely,” he said. “It was not my intention to harm anyone.”
Chinese intelligence agents approached Yeo not long after he gave a presentation in Beijing over the political situation in Southeast Asia, a court document shows. He had set up a consulting company and posted fake job listings under Chinese operatives’ instructions. The Chinese handlers also directed him to identify the vulnerabilities of recruits, such as financial hardships and work dissatisfaction.
“The FBI’s warning is not new, but the message warrants repeating: the Chinese communist government is working to gain information and access by all means,” said James Dawson, acting assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington office.
U.S. federal prosecutors have been opening a new China-related investigation almost every week over the past few months.
Most recently, an NYPD police officer was arrested for spying on the Tibetan dissident community and feeding the intelligence to the New York Chinese consulate.
On Sept. 17, the wife of a U.S. Navy officer based in Jacksonville, who was a naturalized U.S. citizen from China, pleaded guilty to her role in a scheme to smuggle military-model engines to China.
From The Epoch Times