A veteran US state division worker with entry to delicate info has been accused of concealing her contacts with Chinese language intelligence brokers, the justice division says.
A felony grievance mentioned 60-year-old Candace Marie Claiborne obtained tens of hundreds of in presents.
The worker has been charged with obstructing an official continuing and making false statements to the FBI.
She was arrested on Tuesday. In court docket on Wednesday she pleaded not responsible.
Ms Claiborne began working for the state division in 1999 and served at numerous overseas missions, together with Iraq, Sudan and China.
She had a prime secret safety clearance, and was required to report any contacts with individuals suspected of affiliation with a overseas intelligence company, the justice division mentioned in a statement.
“Claiborne didn’t report repeated contacts with two intelligence brokers of the Folks’s Republic of China (PRC), though these brokers supplied tens of hundreds of in presents and advantages to Claiborne and her household over 5 years,” it mentioned.
She was accused of receiving virtually $2,500 (£2,010) from a Chinese language agent in 2011 in alternate for details about US financial coverage in relation to China.
“Claiborne, who allegedly confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC brokers have been ‘spies,’ wilfully misled state division background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with these brokers,” mentioned the justice division assertion.
It went on to say that she “instructed her co-conspirators to delete proof connecting her to the [Chinese] brokers” after being contacted by the state division and FBI.
She made her first look within the US district court docket for the District of Columbia on Wednesday. A preliminary listening to was set for 18 April.
The utmost jail penalty for an individual convicted of obstructing an official continuing is 20 years. For making false statements to the FBI, the utmost time period is 5 years.
The state division has not commented on the case. The revelation comes forward of the assembly between US President Donald Trump and Chinese language President Xi Jinping subsequent week.