Home Washington Press Releases 2010 Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Spy for the People’s Republic of China

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Spy for the People’s Republic of China

U.S. Department of Justice October 22, 2010
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/ (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON—Glenn Duffie Shriver, 28, of Detroit, Mich., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady to conspiring to provide national defense information to intelligence officers of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The guilty plea was announced by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division; Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and John G. Perren, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.

Shriver pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to communicate national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it. In a plea agreement, the defense and government jointly recommended a prison sentence of 48 months. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2011.

“This defendant attempted to gain access to classified U.S. national defense information by securing a position within the U.S. government under false pretenses, with the ultimate goal of providing that information to intelligence officers of the People’s Republic of China,” said Assistant Attorney General Kris. “Through the diligent work of the agents, analysts, and prosecutors assigned to this matter, the defendant’s scheme was detected and neutralized.”

“Mr. Shriver betrayed his country and took repeated steps toward spying for another government,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “We remain vigilant against threats to our national security and will do everything in our power to find and punish those who seek to betray our country.”

“Mr. Shriver threw away his education, his career and his future when he chose to position himself to spy for the PRC," said FBI Acting Acting Assistant Director in Charge Perren. "He failed to appreciate that the PRC simply created a ‘friendship’ with him to use him. It’s a valuable lesson to others who might be tempted to do the same.”

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Shriver is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and lived in the PRC both as an undergraduate student and after graduation. While living in Shanghai in October 2004, Shriver developed a relationship with three individuals whom he came to learn were PRC intelligence officers. At the request of these foreign agents, Shriver agreed to return to the United States and apply for positions in U.S. intelligence agencies or law enforcement organizations.

Shriver admitted in court that he knew that his ultimate objective was to obtain a position with a federal department or agency that would afford him access to classified national defense information, which he would then transmit to the PRC officers in return for cash payments.

From 2005 to 2010, Shriver attempted to gain employment as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State and as a clandestine service officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. Shriver admitted that, during this time, he maintained frequent contact with the PRC intelligence officers and received more than $70,000 in three separate cash payments for what the officers called his “friendship.”

In December 2009, Shriver received notice that he was to report to Washington, D.C., in May 2010 for final employment processing activities with the CIA. Shriver admitted that he communicated with a PRC intelligence officer that he was “making some progress” in obtaining a position with the CIA and that he would not be free to travel to PRC for another meeting because it could raise suspicion with federal agents conducting his background investigation.

Shriver admitted that he made false statements on the CIA questionnaire required for employment stating that he had not had any contact with a foreign government or its representative during the last seven years, when in fact he had met in person with one or more of the officers approximately 20 times since 2004. He also deliberately omitted his travel to PRC in 2007 when he received a $40,000 cash payment from the PRC for applying to the CIA. In addition, Shriver made false statements during a series of final screening interviews at the CIA, and he admitted he made each of the false statements to conceal his illicit relationship with the PRC intelligence officers.

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Campbell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Brandon L. Van Grack of the Counterespionage Section in the National Security Division are prosecuting the case.