Former CIA agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee was sentenced Friday to 19 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in May to engaging in an espionage conspiracy with China. Prosecutors claim that Lee took in more than $840,000 from Chinese intelligence officers in exchange for Lee divulging all of the intel he had gained in his 13 years as a CIA case officer. 

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of more than 20 years.

Lee's defense claimed that while he did conspire to commit conspiracy with China, there was no evidence to suggest that the money he received came from China. The defense also claimed that Lee never actually gave any intelligence or secrets to China, and recommended that he should only receive a sentence of 10 years for his crime. 

Prosecutors admitted that they do not have sufficient evidence to suggest that the money came from China, but that Lee was unable to explain how he received such a large sum. Lee had a failed business venture in Hong Kong, with prosecutors saying that the only conclusion they could make was that the Chinese were getting "high quality information" from Lee.  

Timothy Slater, the assistant director of the FBI's field office, said that "Lee betrayed his own country for greed and put his former colleagues at risk." 

Lee left the CIA in 2007 and then moved to Hong Kong. In 2012, the FBI conducted a raid on his hotel room in Hawaii, discovering handwritten notes about his time at the CIA, which included highly sensitive intelligence. 

"I take full responsibility for my conduct," Lee said about his role in the case.  

This isn't the first time U.S. government employees have given information to the Chinese in exchange for bribes. In July, former state department official Candace Claiborne was sentenced to 40 months in prison after giving Chinese agents internal government documents in exchange for money and gifts, such as an Apple laptop and an iPhone. 

In May, ex-CIA officer Kevin Mallory, who speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for spying for China.