New Orleans Businessman Pleads Guilty to Espionage Charge for Providing Classified Information to China
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced yesterday that Tai Shen Kuo of New Orleans, La. pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to deliver national defense information to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Kuo was arrested on Feb. 11, 2008 on a criminal complaint charging this same offense. Kuo faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 8, 2008.
According to a Statement of Facts filed with Kuo’s Plea Agreement, during March 2007 to February 2008 Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen, obtained national defense information from Gregg W. Bergersen, a Weapons Systems Policy Analyst at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense. The information pertained primarily to U.S. military sales to Taiwan and U.S. military communications security and was classified at the Secret level.
The Statement of Facts states that during the course of the conspiracy, Kuo cultivated a friendship with Bergersen, bestowing on him gifts, cash payments, dinners and trips to Las Vegas. Kuo also led Bergersen to believe that he would make Bergersen a part owner or an employee of a company selling U.S. defense technology to Taiwan after Bergersen’s retirement from government service.
Unbeknownst to Bergersen, Kuo passed along to an official of the government of the PRC the documents and information Bergersen had provided him. The PRC official directed Kuo to collect specific documents and information and paid him approximately $50,000 for completing those tasks.
On March 31, 2008, Bergersen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it. Bergersen is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, 2008, and faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison.