Prosecutors seek life term for ex-CIA man on spy conviction

FBI agents search the Leesburg home of Kevin Mallory | Photo credit: WJLA
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors and defense attorneys will be asking for vastly different prison terms as a former CIA officer is formally sentenced for spying for China.

A jury convicted Kevin Mallory of Leesburg last year under the Espionage Act for providing top secret information to Chinese handlers in exchange for $25,000.

He was arrested in 2017 after he was discovered with more than $16,000 in undeclared cash on a return flight from Shanghai.

Still, prosecutors and defense attorneys differ markedly in the severity of Mallory's misconduct.

Defense attorneys argue that Mallory provided information that was practically worthless at a time when he was financially desperate. They seek a term no longer than 10 years at Thursday's sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors want a life sentence, saying Mallory intentionally put human assets at risk.