Defense Department Official Imprisoned for Espionage
Jim Kouri, CPP
Gregg William Bergersen, age 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, was sentenced in the Eastern District of Virginia to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to disclose national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police's publication, The Chief of Police Magazine.
Bergersen pleaded guilty to this offense on March 31, 2008, after being arrested by federal authorities on February 11, 2008.
Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia; and Arthur M. Cummings, II, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch, made the announcement after US District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema imposed the sentence.
“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. Today, he is paying the price for his actions,” said Patrick Rowan, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
“Mr. Bergersen predicted he would go to jail if anyone discovered he was unlawfully providing classified information to a foreign government. We did. He is,” said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.
“Espionage is one of the most serious crimes any American, much less a government official entrusted to serve and protect our Nation's defense, can commit," said FBI Executive Assistant Director Arthur M. Cummings, National Security Branch.
"The FBI is working diligently with our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community to safeguard America's national defense information and to ensure individuals who commit such treasonous acts against the United States will be held fully accountable.”
According to a Statement of Facts filed in Court with Bergersen’s Plea Agreement, the criminal conduct spanned the time period of March 2007 to February 2008. During this time, Bergersen was a Weapons Systems Policy Analyst at the Arlington, Va.-based Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense.
While in this position, Bergersen provided national defense information on numerous occasions to Tai Shen Kuo, a naturalized U.S. citizen and a New Orleans businessman. Much of the information pertained to U.S. military sales to Taiwan and was classified at the Secret level.
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. Unbeknownst to Bergersen, Kuo passed along to an official of the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) the information Bergersen had provided him. As described in court documents, Kuo operated within the United States under the PRC official’s direction, committing numerous acts of espionage during the time period of the conspiracy.
In some of his meetings with Kuo, Bergersen cautioned that the information he was providing was classified. 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 document’s 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.
On May 13, 2008, Tai Shen Kuo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver national defense information to a foreign government. Kuo is scheduled to be sentenced on August 8, 2008 and faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
On May 28, 2008, another conspirator in the case, Yu Xin Kang of New Orleans, La., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting an unregistered agent of a foreign government, namely the PRC. . According to court documents, Kang assisted Kuo by periodically serving as a conduit for information between Kuo and the PRC official. Kang faces up to ten years in prison when she is sentenced on August 1, 2008.
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.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.