Sunday, July 13, 2008, 7/13/2008 03:33:00 PM

Sentencing in Chinese Espionage Case

From the Associated Press, via Chron.com, a story concerning a former Pentagon analyst, Gregg W. Bergersen, 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, who was sentenced Friday to almost five years in prison for giving secret information about U.S.-Taiwan military relations to a New Orleans furniture salesman who turned out to be a Chinese spy.

Bergersen thought that Louisiana businessman Tai Kuo, the recipient of the information, was aligned with the Taiwanese government and that the information was furthering the establishment of a sophisticated new air defense system in Taiwan, called Po Sheng.

But, according to the AP, Kuo was actually a spy for the People's Republic of China and was relaying the information provided by Bergersen to the Communist regime in Beijing.

In return, prosecutors said, Bergersen got thousands of dollars from Kuo, as well as gambling trips to Las Vegas and Kuo's promise of future employment.

The 57-month sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema was less than the sentence of seven to nine years sought by the government. Brinkema said she departed from the federal sentencing guidelines, which also called for a 7- to 9-year term, in part because of a classified memo filed by the government that apparently detailed the damage caused by Bergersen's actions and indicated that the harm was not too substantial.

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