Episode #12 – Life in FBI Counterintelligence with James Gaylord

Podcast Episode #12 – Life in FBI Counterintelligence with James Gaylord

    Uniformed officers and FBI agents arrested Tai Mak and his wife Fuk Li as they prepared to board a flight to China while carrying classified defense industry information with them on October 28th, 2005. Tai Mak’s brother, Chi Mak was employed at Power Paragon, a subsidiary company for L3, where he worked on sensitive projects for the US Navy. Chi Mak had also been an intelligence officer for the People’s Republic of China since the 1970s, many years before he immigrated to the United States.  

    His brother and sister-in-law were acting as couriers for him on the day they were arrested, at the end of a two-year FBI counterintelligence investigation. Chi Mak had been collecting information on some of the US Navy’s most critical projects including the DDX destroyer, submarine propulsion systems, and others.  

    As they were led away, a man wearing a brown jacket and pulling a rolling suitcase was observed looking at the commotion. This man was later identified as Mr. Luo, another Chinese intelligence officer who had been sent to watch over Tai Mak and Fuk Li as they boarded their flight. He had a ticket for the same flight back to China as well, and immediately reported back that two of their agents had just been arrested in the United States.  

    For episode 12 of the Spycraft 101 podcast, I talked with retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Gaylord, who oversaw the investigation into Chi Mak’s espionage, as well as a subsequent investigation into Chi Mak’s associate Greg Chung. Both men and several of their family members and coconspirators were convicted on espionage charges and served varying sentences before being deported to China at the end of their prison terms. 

    We discuss both investigations as well as the overarching threat of Chinese espionage in America, in particular economic espionage targeting the US defense industry.

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