A former FBI translator was arrested yesterday and charged with providing classified information about a potential FBI source to the government of Taiwan, the FBI said.
Douglas S. Tsou, who worked for the FBI for six years as a Chinese translator, was arrested in Houston and indicted on one count of giving the information to the Coordination Council for North American Affairs, a Houston-based organization that represents the interests of the Taiwanese government here.
He was ordered held on $100,000 bond. If convicted, Tsou faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Tsou, who was born in China in 1924 and became a U.S. citizen in 1977, allegedly alerted the Taiwanese group that a certain person was being evaluated as an FBI source.
The FBI said it had "no indication" that the Taiwanese group solicited the information from Tsou and said the group helped the FBI in the investigation.
Tsou was dismissed from the FBI's Houston office in October 1986. Sources familiar with the case said he was fired as a result of his alleged activities.
The charges against Tsou are the first espionage-related charges involving the government of Taiwan. Larry Wu-tai Chin, a retired CIA analyst, was convicted in February 1986 of spying for the People's Republic of China for more than 30 years. Chin committed suicide while awaiting sentencing.
In 1986, Richard W. Miller became the first FBI agent convicted of espionage. Miller was arrested and charged with spying in October 1984 along with Svetlana and Nikolai Ogorodinkov, Soviet emigres who later pleaded guilty to spying.