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Army intelligence analyst charged with selling military secrets to contact in China for $42,000

Soldier sold military secrets to China, feds say
U.S. soldier charged with selling military secrets to China 01:55

Washington — An active duty Army soldier and intelligence analyst spent over a year selling sensitive military documents related to the U.S. defense of Taiwan, weapons systems, and missile defense systems to China, federal prosecutors alleged in an indictment unsealed Thursday and obtained by CBS News. 

Sergeant Korbein Schultz is accused of using his top secret security clearance to download classified U.S. government records at the behest of an unnamed individual who claimed to live in Hong Kong, allegedly amassing $42,000 in the process.

Sgt. Korbein Schultz was arrested for conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information and other charges. Photo released March 7, 2024 by the U.S. Army. U.S. Army photo

He was arrested Thursday and charged with six counts including conspiracy and bribery. According to court filings, Schultz was a sergeant and intelligence analyst and assigned to the 506th Infantry Battalion. The Army said Schultz, 24, of Willis Point, Texas, has been in the service since November 2018.

The charging documents don't name the Chinese government as the recipient of the information or as perpetrators of the scheme, but much of the military information Schutlz is accused to have passed on relates to that country. 

Beginning in June 2022, prosecutors said Schultz and his co-conspirator began communicating online and via encrypted messaging applications. He was instructed to prioritize passing along "original and exclusive documents" to his handler, including information related to Russia's war in Ukraine and the "operabitly of sensitive U.S. military systems and their capabilities," court documents said.

The pair allegedly agreed to enter into a long-term partnership. 

By July 2022, investigators alleged Schultz was sending information about High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, the type of systems the U.S. has been sending to Ukraine to use against Russia. He is also accused of transmitting sensitive documents about hypersonic equipment and summaries of U.S. military drills in August 2022. 

Court documents detailed a months-long exchange in which the unnamed co-conspirator asked for specific documents and Schutlz complied, selling dozens of sensitive records for thousands of dollars at a time. 

Money appeared to be his motivation. In one message, Schultz allegedly told his handler, "I need to get my other BMW back." 

"I will just keep sending you an abundance of information," he wrote to the coconspirator, according to prosecutors, later expressing a desire to compare himself to Jason Bourne, the fictional spy created by author Robert Ludlum.

By August of 2023, Schultz — whose job was in part to instruct others on the proper handling of classified information — discussed with his Chinese handler the separate arrests that month of two U.S. Navy sailors accused of transmitting sensitive information to China. 

Schultz's co conspirators advised him to be careful, court papers revealed. 

And in November 2023, prosecutors alleged the handler asked Schultz to discuss work "for the next year." 

The charges come days after Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Texeira pleaded guilty to illegally posting classified military records on an online gaming platform in one of the military's most damaging leak campaigns. 

And on Tuesday, an Air Force employee was charged with leaking classified information related to Russia's war in Ukraine to an individual over a foreign dating site. 

It was not immediately clear if Schultz had an attorney. His first court appearance will be Friday.

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