Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, worked 15 years with the CIA from 1967-1989 and was assigned to work in the East-Asia and Pacific region. He has been arrested and charged for selling United States secret information to the Chinese government.
Ma disclosed a substantial amount of national defense information to five members of the Chinese Ministry of State Security. The information includes information about CIA internal organization, means of CIA communication, and identities of CIA officers and human assets.
The meeting between Ma and Chinses officers happened in 2001, 12 years after his retirement from the CIA. According to the charge documents he kept in touch with Chinese contacts, even as he applied in 2004 for a position with the FBI. For the next six years, he downloaded and photographed sensitive information and then relayed it to China until he left the FBI in 2010.
It’s unclear why the FBI waited to fully investigate Ma as they had suspicions of him but they did begin a sting operation in January 2019.
Part of the operation was an FBI agent pretending to be a Chinese government auditor reviewing the Chinese governments handling of Ma as an intelligence source.
The documents say that Ma “wanted the ‘motherland’ to succeed” and he said he would consider being a “consultant” to work for the Chinese government again.
He has been charged for conspiring to communicate national defense information to aid a foreign government. If convicted, Ma faces life in prison.