Army soldier who ‘wished’ he could be ‘Jason Bourne’ charged with selling military secrets to Chinese conspirator, DOJ says

News & Politics

A United States Army soldier and intelligence analyst was accused of selling sensitive military secrets to a Chinese conspirator, the Department of Justice reported.

Sgt. Korbein Schultz, 24, was arrested Thursday at Fort Campbell for allegedly entering into “a corrupt scheme” with an unidentified conspirator who purported to reside in Hong Kong and work for a geopolitical consulting firm.

Schultz was charged with six counts, including “conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information, exporting technical data related to defense articles without a license, conspiracy to export defense articles without a license, and bribery of a public official.”

As part of Schultz’s role in the military, he was tasked with instructing soldiers on proper handling of classified information.

According to the DOJ, Schultz used his top secret security clearance to provide sensitive information, including documents, writings, plans, maps, notes, and photographs, to the Chinese conspirator beginning in June 2022. The department stated that the pair communicated using encrypted messaging applications.

The information Schultz allegedly handed over related to military weapons systems and America’s potential defense plans in the event Taiwan comes under attack. Schultz, who reportedly had reason to believe the sensitive information could jeopardize the safety of Americans, also was accused of giving the conspirator intelligence on hypersonic equipment and studies on the future development of U.S. military forces. The conspirator requested information related to Russia’s war with Ukraine and summaries of U.S. military drills and operations, court filings revealed.

According to the department, Schultz received 14 payments totaling $42,000 for providing the information to the conspirator. Money appeared to be the soldier’s motivation. In August 2022, he allegedly told the conspirator that he needed to get his “other BMW back.”

“I will just keep sending you an abundance of information,” Schultz allegedly wrote to the conspirator. At one point, Schultz said he “wished he could be ‘Jason Bourne,'” the DOJ reported.

The department stated that the two discussed the recent arrest of Wenheng Zhao and Jinchao Wei, two Navy sailors accused of providing Chinese intelligence with sensitive military information. In response, Schultz’s conspirator instructed the soldier to be careful.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the DOJ’s National Security Division stated, “Mr. Schultz, a member of the U.S. Army, stands accused of conspiring to obtain and provide national defense information to an individual overseas. As part of the conspiracy, the defendant provided sensitive government information to his coconspirator in exchange for thousands of dollars, placing personal profit above the security of the American people.”

Schultz’s first court appearance is scheduled for Friday. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney, CBS News reported.

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