(CN) – A Michigan man who tried to get a job with the CIA to become a spy for China was sentenced to four years in prison on Friday, the Justice Department announced.
Glenn Shriver, 29, studied in China during college and lived there for a short time after graduation. Authorities say Shriver became close with three Chinese intelligence officers in 2004, and the men bribed Shriver to apply to U.S. intelligence agencies and send information to them as a double agent.
Shriver, who is proficient in Mandarin, admitted to receiving $70,000 in cash from the officers, who said it was payment for his “friendship.”
Shriver applied to the CIA and State Department between 2005 and 2010, at which time he was still in contact with the Chinese intelligence officers. He admitted to lying on his CIA questionnaire when he said he had no contact with any foreign government in the past seven years. He also omitted his trip to China in 2007 when he received $40,000 in cash in exchange for applying to the CIA.
Officials nabbed Shriver while the agency conducted its rigorous background screening process. Prosecutors say he was not able to gain access to any classified information. Shriver pleaded guilty in October in an Alexandria, Va., federal court.
“Mr. Shriver sold out his country and repeatedly sought a position in our intelligence community so that he could provide classified information to [China],” U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement. “Attempts to gain access to sensitive information are a serious threat to our national security.”
U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady sentenced Shriver to four years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Campbell and trial attorney Brandon L. Van Grack of the National Security Division’s counterespionage section led the prosecution.