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Singaporean national admits to years in U.S. spent spying for China, recruiting government personnel

Jun Wei Yeo admitted in a statement to the court that he acted under the command of Chinese intelligence from 2015-2019

Published: July 27, 2020 8:35am

Updated: July 27, 2020 10:20am

A Singaporean national pleaded guilty to acting as a covert Chinese intelligence asset in the United States, recruiting a U.S. Army officer, and honing in on Department of State and Pentagon officials as unknowing agents for his cause. 

Jun Wei Yeo, who also went by Dickson Yeo, admitted Friday in a statement given to the court that he worked for a Chinese intelligence service, recruiting U.S. government officials to provide information to Beijing. He was acting under the auspices of Chinese intelligence until his arrest in November 2019. 

From January 2019 to January 2020, Yeo was a visiting scholar at the George Washington University Sigur Center for Asian Studies, housed at the Elliott School of international affairs. He is also the author of several pieces about Chinese foreign affairs that appeared in print and online publications. 

According to investigators, Yeo worked with Chinese intelligence for a period of around four years, beginning in 2015. He was frequently asked to obtain non-publicly available information, including insight into actions by the Department of Commerce and the sentiment surrounding the trade war between the U.S. and China. 

In 2018, Yeo, under orders, established a fake consulting firm and was sent close to 400 resumes, 90% of which belonged to "U.S. military and government personnel with security clearances," according to the statement given to the court. Those resumes were delivered straight to Chinese intelligence officers. 

In the past several years, Yeo solicited several reports from employees at the Department of State and the Pentagon. One target, struggling financially and fearing for his upcoming retirement, provided a report on a a "then serving member of the U.S. Cabinet." Another, wrote about the impact pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan would have on China.