Alexandria man pleads guilty to espionage

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They met at an Alexandria diner and surreptitiously exchanged envelopes. One contained Top Secret documents involving government contracts and other Top Secret documents from the Department of Defense where he worked. The other envelope, allegedly provided by the Chinese government, contained cold hard cash. United States Dollars, not Chinese Yuan, one would presume.

On Feb. 11, Gregg William Bergersen, age 51, was arrested at his home in Alexandria and charged with conspiracy to disclose national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it. On Monday, he pled guilty to the charge to Judge Leonie M. Brinkema at Alexandria’s Federal Courthouse.

From March 2007 to February 2008, Bergersen — a Weapons Systems Policy Analyst at the Arlington.-based Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense — provided national defense information on numerous occasions to Tai Shen Kuo, a New Orleans businessman. 

Much of the information pertained to U.S. military sales to Taiwan and was classified at the Secret level, according to a Statement of Facts filed in Court with Bergersens Plea Agreement.   During the course of the conspiracy, Kuo cultivated a friendship with Bergersen, bestowing on him gifts, cash payments, dinners, and money for gambling during trips to Las Vegas.

Unbeknown to Bergersen, Kuo passed along to an official of the government of the People’s Republic of China the information Bergersen had provided him.  In some of his meetings with Kuo, Bergersen cautioned that the information he was providing was classified. 

Mr. Bergersen betrayed his oath to serve and protect our nation when he used his government position to access and pass national defense information to a person he knew was not entitled to receive it,” said Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “This case serves as a reminder that espionage networks are relentless in their efforts to steal our secrets and continue to pose a serious threat to our national security.

On one such occasion, in July 2007, Bergersen handed Kuo a classified document with jagged cut marks at the top and bottom of each page.  Bergersen pointed out to Kuo that he had cut off the documents title and had also removed the classification markings from the top and bottom of every page, ensuring Kuo that he was being given classified information.

Espionage charges are still pending against Kuo and an alleged conspirator, Yu Xin Kang, both of whom remain held without bond.

United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg shook his head disdainfully at Bergerson’s treason.

“Every day, dedicated men and women throughout government serve our nation with honor and dignity,” Rosenberg said. “Mr. Bergersen chose a different path a path of dishonor that is deeply disappointing,

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations provided substantial assistance and cooperation throughout the course of the investigation, said a Department of Justice spokesman.

Bergersen faces up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced on June 20.

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