A Michigan man was sentenced Friday to four years in prison after admitting he took $70,000 from Chinese spies while attempting to secure jobs with the CIA and U.S. Foreign Service that would give him access to government secrets.
Glenn D. Shriver, 29, of Grand Rapids pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to provide national defense information to Chinese intelligence officers.
According to court documents, Shriver was approached by Chinese officers while living in Shanghai in 2004. He answered an English-language ad seeking someone with an East Asian studies background to write a paper on U.S.-Chinese relations.
After Shriver answered the ad, Chinese intelligence officers began to recruit Shriver and encourage him to seek out U.S. government jobs that would give him access to classified documents.
In court Friday, Shriver said the Chinese were subtle in their attempts to recruit him, almost to the point that he didn't realize that he was being recruited as a spy.
"By the time I came to realize I was in this situation, it was too late," Shriver said, admitting that greed kicked in and served as the primary motivation for continuing to work with the Chinese officers.
In 2005 and 2006, Shriver took the Foreign Service exam. He failed both times, but his Chinese handlers gave him $10,000 for his first attempt and $20,000 for his second, documents show.
Then in 2007, Shriver applied for a job with the CIA. He then traveled to China and requested $40,000 from the Chinese agents for that and was paid in cash he smuggled through U.S. Customs on his return, authorities said.
Shriver apologized for his actions in court and said he almost felt relieved that he had been caught.
"I cannot tell you what it's like to carry a dark secret like this for so many years," Shriver told the judge.
The plea agreement required the judge to impose a four-year term, no more no less. The judge said he thought the sentence was appropriate.
Prosecutors said Shriver never actually divulged any secrets because he never had a job that gave him access to classified information. Authorities have said that Shriver was never really close to landing a job at the CIA.
Shriver's case is one of many in recent years involving Chinese espionage efforts.
In a statement, Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said that "Mr. Shriver sold out his country and repeatedly sought a position in our intelligence community so that he could provide classified information to (China). Attempts to gain access to sensitive information are a serious threat to our national security. We are doing everything in our power to find and punish those who seek to betray our country."