Hansen, who speaks fluent Mandarin-Chinese and Russian, was hired by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2006 as a civilian case officer and held a top-level security clearance for years.
In a 41-page felony complaint, prosecutors claimed Syracuse, Utah, resident Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, was paid up to $800,000 over several years for passing along technology and information about US military and intelligence issues. Hansen was on his way to the airport for a flight to China at the time of his arrest, according to Reuters.
"His alleged actions are a betrayal of our nation's security and the American people and are an affront to his former intelligence community colleagues. He's not involved with us or our customers", Hansen said Monday. Details of Hansen's alleged interactions with Chinese intelligence agents are detailed in the court documents related to his case made available on Monday.
While there is nothing to indicate that the three cases are connected, all three men are accused of trying to sell secrets for money to relieve financial burdens in their lives.
Hansen, who lived in Syracuse, Utah, served in the army for almost 20 years, working as a case officer for the DIA while on active duty from 2000-2006, court documents reveal.
Mr. Hansen later traveled repeatedly to China and offered the knowledge he had gathered at navy and intelligence conferences in the United States of America to contacts in China related to that nation's intelligence providers, the assertion stated.
The 42-page criminal complaint describes years of suspicious behavior by Hansen, suggesting that his efforts on behalf of China stretch back more than five years.
He joins a growing list of former U.S. intelligence officers who have been accused of spying for the Chinese government in the last few months.
"But certainly of late there have been some issues between China and the United States". The informant met Hansen near the airport and brought two classified documents, which Hansen reviewed and took notes on, agents wrote.
After FBI agents told Hansen to report any contacts from Chinese agents, Hansen communicated with people he believed to be Chinese intelligence officers about his efforts to rejoin the DIA, investigators wrote.
It is alleged by the justice department that Mr Hansen held top secret clearance "for many years" and travelled regularly between the USA and China between 2013-17.
He told the source that China would pay him up to $200,000 if he could deliver a "China ops plan", the U.S. military plan regarding "potential military intervention" with China. Hansen also said the Chinese were interested in USA secrets about North Korea, the court document said.
He was arrested Saturday in Seattle and faces charges including attempted espionage, according to the Times.