A U.S. District judge sentenced a former Pentagon official to three years in prison for giving classified information to a Chinese spy.
James Fondren, 62, of Annandale, Va., is the former deputy director of the Washington liaison office for U.S. Pacific Command. The information he gave dealt mainly with U.S.-China military relations. According to the Huffington Post, between 2004 and 2008 Fondren sold Tai Shen Kuo "opinion papers" for between $350 and $800 apiece.
Fondren is the second Pentagon official charged with giving classified documents to Tai Shen Kuo. Kuo, 58, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Taiwan. According to the Huffington Post,he had claimed to be a Taiwanese agent but was actually working with the communist regime in Beijing.
Gregg Bergensen, the other Pentagon official convicted of giving classified information to Kuo, was sentenced in 2008 to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Kuo was sentenced to 16 years in prison and required to forfeit $40,000 for conspiracy charges.
The sentence was significantly less than the 6 1/2 years sought by prosecutors for Fondren. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton said the lighter sentence was warranted because the information caused little or no harm to U.S. national security.
Fondren was convicted of three of the eight counts of espionage prosecutors brought to trial. He plans to appeal his conviction on those counts.