A 60-year-old consultant and former CIA officer from Virginia is accused of providing top secret documents to Chinese intelligence officials and lying to FBI agents about it.
Kevin Patrick Mallory was formally charged in federal court June 22 with “making materially false statements to the FBI” and “gathering or delivering defense information to aid a foreign government.” If convicted of the first charge, Mallory faces a maximum of five years in a federal penitentiary. The second charge carries a much steeper punishment, with the death penalty or a life sentence being the maximum .
According to the criminal complaint, from April until May 2017, Mallory made false statements to law enforcement officers about transmitting the top secret documents to an agent of the People’s Republic of China.
Dana J. Boente, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia described the allegations against Mallory as “serious,” saying in a statement that he threatened national security.
The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious, and these charges should send a message to anyone who would consider violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information.
Mallory, who had top secret security clearance, worked as a CIA officer, and was stationed in Iraq, China and Taiwan, the Washington Post reports. He left the government in 2012.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mallory Is a Former U.S. Diplomatic Officer & Was Deployed by the U.S. Army
Mallory is a self-employed consultant with GlobalEx, LLC. and resides in Leesburg, Virginia. According to the criminal complaint, he graduated from Brigham Young University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Shortly thereafter, Mallory worked full-time in a military position for five years. Once he left that job, he continued his military service as an Army reservist and worked as a special agent for the State Department Diplomatic Security Service for three years (1987-1990).
After that, he worked in positions for numerous government agencies, including defense contractors and was deployed by the U.S. Army on multiple locations. He was stationed in many locations across the globe, including Iraq, China, Taiwan and the Washington D.C. area. He spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Throughout those years, he held a top secret security clearance, but that was terminated in October 2012 when he left government service. Federal court documents do not name the agency that Mallory worked for in the government, but sources told the Washington Post he worked for the CIA.
2. Mallory Allegedly Met Chinese Intelligence Agents & Traveled to Shanghai to Provide Documents for Cash
In March and April of this year while on a visit to Shanghai, Mallory met a Chinese agent who told him he was an employee for Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, a think tank. SASS was founded in 1958 and was administered by the municipal government of Shanghai, its website says. It receives most of its funding from the government.
The FBI has described the think tank as the “leading” one in the area and specializes in humanities and social sciences to include economics history, international relations and more. The agency also said that the think tank has intelligence officers that use the affiliation with SASS to cover their identities while they try to obtain information on policies that may affect China.
The criminal complaint says that on April 21 Mallory returned to the U.S. from a week-long trip to Shanghai. At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, he was stopped by U.S. customs and Border Protection and interviewed as to the purpose of his trip, which he said was a business trip as well as a father/son vacation. He said that he met with someone he knew through his church in an effort to consult the person on anti-bullying and family safety development.
Mallory checked “no” on the question asking if he was carrying over $10,000 in currency, however it was determined that he had $16,500 in USD in two carry-on bags.
3. Mallory Was Allegedly Given a Secure Device From Chinese Agents for Communications
On May 24, Mallory voluntarily submitted to be interviewed by the FBI in Ashburn, Virginia and told the agents that he was contacted on social media by a “Chinese recruiter” in February. When he initially arrived to the meeting, however, he thought he was going to meet with a government employee to discuss information he had gathered from his trip to Shanghai. When he got there, he was greeted by the FBI agents and agreed to the interview.
Mallory allegedly told the agents how he had phone interviews with the “recruiter” and was introduced to the man he said he traveled to Shanghai to see on his April “business trip.”
Mallory also told federal agents that he contacted a government agency for assistance, saying that he wanted to talk about people he recently met in China. Once the meeting was granted on May 12, he spoke about how he thought the people that he met in Shanghai were actually Chinese intelligence agents, based on his past employment history.
According to the Washington Post, Mallory reached out to former CIA co-workers and employees of the agency. The CIA has declined to comment.
Also at the May 24 interview with federal agents, Mallory agreed to let them search a “device” he received from the Chinese agent he visited in Shanghai. That device, Mallory said, was supposed to be used to use it for private communications with the Chinese agent.
4. Mallory Received Over $20,000 in Payments for Providing Classified Documents, Prosecutors Say
In the FBI interview, Mallory told the story about how that he was instructed by the two people from Shanghai to “pursue employment with the U.S. government.” He was already in the process of doing so before meeting the Chinese officials and told the FBI agents that he thought the officials wanted him to “obtain a position of access in the U.S. government.”
In addition to the requests, he was also tasked to write papers about U.S. policy and did so using unclassified information. He told agents that beyond the two papers of unclassified information that he gave them, he didn’t provide anything else. He allegedly received two cash payments from the Chinese agents — one in March for $10,000 and another in April for $15,000.
Mallory was supposed to travel back to Shanghai in June and said that he expected to receive the same payment.
5. Text Messages Showed Agents That Mallory Was Planning on Delivering More Documents
During the FBI interview, Mallory displayed the secure device he was given from the Chinese agents and a message he sent said: “I can also come in the middle of June, I can bring the remainder of the documents I have at that time.”
Mallory claimed he was speaking of the two unclassified documents and was simply “stringing” the Chinese agents along, implying he didn’t actually have anything else to give to them.
But other text messages that were recovered by federal agents found Mallory mentioning that he intended supplying other classified documents for additional payments.
“I am taking the real risk as you (Chinese agents) and higher-up bosses know,” Mallory allegedly wrote in a message that was recovered. “When you get the OK to replace the prior payment, then I will send more docs. I will also type my notes. NOTE: In the future, I will destroy all electronic records after you confirm receipt…I already destroyed the paper records. I cannot keep these around, too dangerous.”
Further analysis of the device showed eight handwritten documents, and three of them contained classified information, with one of the three containing top secret information.