The news is out: [A former CIA officer is accused of selling classified information to Chinese intelligence officials in exchange for thousands of dollars in gifts and cash as part of an alleged spying operation that ran for more than a decade, according to federal court documents.
The espionage charge was unsealed Monday against Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, 67, who is alleged to have provided Chinese officials with information about CIA personnel, operations and the agency’s methods for concealing communications.
Federal prosecutors allege that Ma, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Hong Kong, conspired with an 85-year-old relative who also served as a former CIA officer.
The relative was not charged, prosecutors said, because he suffers from a “debilitating cognitive disease.”
According to court documents, Ma and his unnamed relative began working with the Chinese in March 2001, about 12 years after Ma had left the agency. During three days of meetings, parts of which were captured on video, Ma is allegedly shown accepting “and counting” $50,000 in cash in exchange for information the two former officers passed to their Chinese counter-parts.]
$50,000? That’s chicken feed.