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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Ex-FBI agent takes guilty plea in spy case

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former FBI agent pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge in connection with a Chinese spying investigation.

Denise K. Woo, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of disclosing confidential information. Prosecutors agreed to drop five felony counts of disclosing a wiretap, revealing the identity of a covert operative and lying to FBI agents when questioned.

Woo, who has been discharged from the FBI, will be on probation for one year and fined $1,000 when she is sentenced on Aug. 28.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor, had no comment.

A 2004 indictment alleged that in 1999 Woo intentionally disclosed the name of an informant to a man identified only as "J.W." and told him about telephone surveillance involving an investigation.

The man was a Chinese-American employee of a defense contractor under investigation for possibly passing defense secrets to China, authorities said later

In the plea agreement, Woo acknowledged she had passed on information about the informant's identity to J.W. She acted out of concern that the man, a family friend, was being wrongly suspected, her lawyers argued.
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