Former State Department employee sentenced to more than three years in China spy case

Fox News | 7/10/2019 | Jake Gibson
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A federal judge sentenced former State Department employee Candace Claiborne to more than three years in prison and a $40,000 fine Tuesday for accepting thousands of dollars in cash and gifts from Chinese intelligence agents in exchange for information.

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss said, “sentencing is never easy,” but also called Claiborne’s crime, “a truly grave offense, a betrayal of her employer and a betrayal of her country” before giving her 40 months in prison in a Washington D.C. courtroom.

Claiborne - Moss - Model - Citizen - History

Claiborne, 63, whom Moss agreed up until now had been a model citizen with no criminal history, said, “I’m sorry for what I did.” She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in April and faced up to five years in prison.

Claiborne, who held a top-secret security clearance, began working as an Office Management Specialist for the State Department in 1999. She served in multiple postings in Baghdad and Khartoum, Sudan, as well as Beijing and Shanghai.

Life - Claiborne - Judge - Job - Reputation

“This is not what I had envisioned for my life... I still don’t know how I lost myself,” Claiborne told the judge. "I lost my job, reputation and the trust of the government. I made a terrible mistake and now I'm paying the price."

Federal prosecutor Thomas Gillice pressed for the maximum sentence, saying Claiborne knew what she was doing was wrong and kept doing it for her own financial gain for a long period of time.

Period - Years - Expense - Country - Gillice

“She did this repeatedly over a period of years and at the expense of her country,” said Gillice.

The government produced extensive evidence of contacts between Claiborne and two Chinese intelligence agents, including emails,...
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