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FBI employee spied for the Chinese government, court papers say

Kun Shan Chun, left, covers his face as

Kun Shan Chun, left, covers his face as he walks with a lawyer in Manhattan on Monday, Aug 1, 2016. Chun, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen who worked for the FBI as an electronics technician, pleaded guilty in federal court to passing sensitive information to the Chinese government over a four-year period. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Riley

A former FBI employee pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Monday to acting as an agent of the Chinese government and passing sensitive information over a four-year period.

Chinese-born Kun Shan Chun, 46, a U.S. citizen working as an electronics technician, passed information on the identity and travel patterns of an FBI agent, an FBI organization chart, and photos of documents describing FBI surveillance technology, a prosecutor said.

Chun, also known as Joey Chun, worked in the New York field office. He said during his brief guilty plea, “From 2011 to 2016, on various occasions, I acted in the United States at the direction of an official of the Chinese government.

“My conduct involved passing sensitive information to this official on several occasions. I knew that was wrong and I am sorry for my actions.”

Chun, according to court filings, was secretly charged in March with four counts of lying to the FBI about his contact with foreign businesses and nationals, relating to his involvement with Zhuhai Kolion Technology Company Ltd.

That sealed complaint said the company had Chinese government links, and said Chun also told an undercover FBI agent that he would serve as an intermediary to help him pass “sensitive” information to the Chinese.

Chun faces 21 to 27 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines for acting as an agent of the Chinese government, his lawyer said. He was not detained after the guilty plea.

Prosecutor Emil Bove said Chun told investigators he was motivated by “financial benefits.”

Bove provided no details on the FBI special agent whose identity and “travel patterns” Chun gave to the Chinese.

He said that when asked about the FBI’s organization, Chun passed along an internal organizational chart in 2015 after removing the names of the FBI officials identified on the chart.

He said that Chun entered a “restricted area” in 2014 to take pictures of documents describing FBI technology.

In a statement issued after the plea, Chun’s lawyer, Jonathan Marvinny, said, “Today Joey Chun accepted responsibility for some mistakes in judgment that he deeply regrets. The truth is that Mr. Chun loves the United States and never intended to cause it any harm. He hopes to put this matter behind him and move forward with his life.”

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