A State Department official is accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in cash payments, vacations, an apartment, and Apple electronics from spies for the Chinese government and lying about it to the FBI, the federal government revealed on Wednesday.
According to the Justice Department, Candace Marie Claiborne, a 60-year-old State Department employee, accepted gifts from Chinese agents for more than five years and, when finally caught, instructed co-conspirators to erase evidence of her alleged crimes.
“Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
According to a federal affidavit, Claiborne began working as an office management specialist at the State Department in 1999. She then took jobs overseas, including at embassies and consulates in Iraq, Sudan and China. She maintained a Top Secret security clearance, which required her to report any contacts with people believed to be affiliated with foreign intelligence agencies.
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