Two Chinese intelligence officers were charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to bribe a U.S. government official to provide information about an investigation into telecommunications firm Huawei, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. 

The spies, Guochun He and Zheng Wang, thought they had recruited the U.S. official as an asset to steal confidential information about the prosecution of Huawei, but the official was actually working as a double agent for the FBI. 

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"The defendants paid a bribe to the double agent to obtain non-public information, including files from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District," FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Monday. "They did so in the hope of obtaining the prosecution's strategy memo, confidential information regarding witnesses, trial evidence, and potential new charges to be brought against the company."

Chinese spies charged

Guochun He (left) and Zheng Wang (right) were charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to interfere with the US government’s prosecution of Huawei. (U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York / Fox News)

The official provided a one-page document that appeared to be classified as "SECRET" and had information on plans to arrest two Huawei officials. The document was actually prepared by the U.S. government to deceive the Chinese spies. 

Guochun He allegedly paid the double agent $41,000 in bitcoin for stealing the document last year, and send him another $20,000 worth of bitcoin earlier this month. 

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The company is not named, but references in the indictment to prosecution of a Chinese company for conspiring to steal trade secrets makes it clear that it is Huawei. The US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced charges against Huawei in February 2020 for an alleged conspiracy to steal trade secrets from US technology firms

"This was an egregious attempt by PRC intelligence officers to shield a PRC-based company from accountability and to undermine the integrity of our judicial system," Wray said Monday. 

Chinese tech conglomerate Huawei is seen in Beijing

In this Oct. 31, 2019, file photo, attendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File / AP Newsroom)

Huawei and the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. 

The indictment unsealed Monday comes after several Chinese nationals were charged last week for allegedly harassing and attempting to coerce a U.S. resident to return to China. 

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In a separate case on Monday, four Chinese nationals, including three intelligence officers, were charged with trying to recruit U.S. citizens to act on behalf of the PRC. 

"As these cases demonstrate, the government of China sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights. They did not succeed," Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday. 

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/chinese-spies-charged-allegedly-obstructing-us-investigation-huawei

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