Huang Yu, 48, was a computer technician for a Chinese research institute that assisted China’s government in developing cipher systems when he was fired in 2004 after it was deemed that he was performing poorly.
Wanting revenge, Huang utilized the internet to get into contact with a foreign spy agency and in person, began selling the documents he acquired while he was working at the institute. The documents he handed over contained secrets ranging from military to financial operations in China.
For his cooperation, he was given $10,000 USD at first, after of which, a $5,000 USD per month salary was agreed to. It’s estimated that up until his arrest, Huang made over $700,000. According to him, he made contact with the spy he sold to 21 times.
Eventually, he ran out of documents to sell and began involving his family by asking his wife and brother-in-law to assist him who both worked in places that handled state secrets. One time, Huang used his brother-in-law’s computer that he was fixing to download more documents.
Huang’s espionage career soon ended once his constant travel and newfound riches were questioned. His wife was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment and his brother-in-law was sentenced to 3 years. Back at Huang’s former place of employment, 29 of his coworkers were punished, presumably because they failed to secure their work.
While discussing his case on television, Huang urged anyone helping foreign spies to stop and turn themselves in, saying: “It’s better for your family and for you”.
Huang was sentenced to death but it isn’t known if the execution was ever carried out. In total, 150,000 documents were leaked.