Airline employee pleads guilty to working as agent for Chinese government

Airline employee pleads guilty to working as agent for Chinese government
The Department of Justice Alleges that Lin shipped packages for Chinese military officers. (Source: Gray Television Group, Inc. All rights reserved.)

(CNN) - A naturalized U.S. citizen has pleaded guilty to felony charges in connection to the illegal shipment of packages on behalf of the Chinese military.

U.S. federal prosecutors said Ying Lin worked for a China-based international airline at both John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International airports.

Prosecutors did not name the airline in question, but China's flagship carrier, Air China, flies to both airports.

Authorities allege Lin took packages from Chinese military officers assigned to the country’s United Nations mission and put them on flights bound for China without said officers on board.

That's a violation of U.S. air safety rules.

Prosecutors allege Lin received several benefits for doing that, including tax-exempt purchases of liquor, cigarettes and electronic devices.

Those perks were worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Lin pleaded guilty Wednesday to the charge of acting as a foreign agent without notifying the government.

She faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced.

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