A federal jury found a Chinese national guilty of conspiracy and perjury after discovering that he had worked as an agent for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) while enlisted in the United States Army reserves, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday.
The jury convicted 31-year-old Chicago, Illinois, resident and Chinese citizen Ji Chaoqun with one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without first notifying the Attorney General, one count of acting as an agent of the PRC without first notifying the Attorney General, and one count of making a material false statement to the U.S. Army, according to the DOJ release. Ji could face up to ten years in prison for acting as an unregistered agent for the PRC and an additional five years for each charge of conspiracy and perjury. The jury also acquitted Chauqun of two counts of wire fraud, the release stated. (RELATED: Communist Country Legalizes Gay Marriage)
Chaoqun was reportedly tasked with providing the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security (JSSD), a provincial department of the Ministry of State Security, with biographical data for possible recruits for the organization, the DOJ reported. These recruits included Chinese nationals working as scientists, engineers, and independent contractors, the release noted.
#ICYMI: Ji Chaoqun was tasked with providing PRC intelligence with biographical data on scientists & engineers in the US for possible recruitment by the PRC, which sought to access to aerospace & satellite #technologies being developed by US companies. https://t.co/IKdgrnvtIg
— NCSC (@NCSCgov) September 27, 2022
Chaoqun purportedly worked under Xu Yanjun, a Deputy Division Director for the JSSD, according to Fox News. The DOJ had previously convicted Yanjun in October for espionage after he reportedly tried to embezzle trade secrets from leading U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.
Chaoqun enlisted into the reserves in 2016 through the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest program, a program aimed at hiring legal aliens who were considered helpful for military objectives, Fox reported. He falsely stated to the armed services that he had not been in contact with the PRC in over seven years, according to the outlet.