Former US defence official sentenced for espionage

Other News Materials 12 July 2008 02:55 (UTC +04:00)

A former US defence department official was Friday sentenced to a 57-month jail term for espionage.

Gregg William Bergersen, 51, was sentenced to an additional three years of supervised release "for conspiracy to disclose national defence information to persons not entitled to receive it," a justice department statement said.

Between March 2007 and February 2008, Bergersen, then a weapons systems policy analyst at the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, passed on classified information about US military sales to Taiwan to New Orleans businessman and US citizen Tai Shen Kuo.

In return, he received gifts, cash payments and additional money to gamble in Las Vegas, the statement said.

Bergersen didn't know that Kuo sent the information to a Chinese government official. He was arrested on February 11, and pleaded guilty in March.

Patrick Rowan, acting assistant attorney general for national security, said Bergersen "betrayed his oath to serve and protect our nation when he used his government position to access and pass national defence information to a person he knew was not entitled to receive it. Today, he is paying the price for his actions."

In May, Kuo pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to deliver national defence information to a foreign government." He is scheduled to be sentenced in August and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, dpa reported.