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Ex-Pentagon worker sentenced for espionage

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A former U.S. Defense Department official was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for spying and lying to the FBI, the Justice Department said.

James Wilbur Fondren Jr. was convicted last September of unlawful communication of classified information by a government employee and two counts of making false statements, Justice officials said in a news release.

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Fondren was accused of providing classified information to Tai Shen Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Taiwan, for about 40 months, who then passed it along to a Chinese government official. Prosecutors said Fondren proffered the information under the guise of consulting services, incorporating the material into "opinion papers" he sold to Kuo.

The jury also found Fondren guilty of misrepresenting to the FBI everything he wrote to Kuo in his opinion papers.

After completing his prison term, Fondren will spend two years on supervised release, the Justice Department said.

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