A retired Department of Homeland Security agent who claims to have worked as a “security specialist” for Elon Musk at SpaceX was one in every of five men indicted as a part of an alleged scheme to discredit US-based critics of the Chinese government, court filings revealed this week.
Derrick Taylor, a 60-year-old now working as a non-public investigator based out of Irvine, Calif., was charged for his ties to what the fed’s described as a “transnational repression scheme to silence critics of the People’s Republic of China Residing in america.”
Taylor is alleged to have destroyed evidence and lied to investigators when confronted with claims that he accessed and distributed sensitive information from a restricted federal database related to dissidents living within the US. The information that included their passport information, residences, flight records, and images, in response to the court documents.
The web site for Taylor’s private investigation firm noted that he worked for “twenty-five years as a Federal Agent with the Department of Homeland Security” – and touts his purported past work for Musk in an bid to entice recent clients to pay for his services.
“After my tenure with DHS, I served three years as the non-public Security Specialist to Elon Musk at SpaceX,” Taylor’s description says. “I concentrate on asset and checking account searches, background searches, criminal and civil investigations. My company is predicated in Irvine and I service your complete State of California.”
The web site doesn’t elaborate on the character of the work he purportedly performed for the billionaire. The claim can also be included on Taylor’s LinkedIn page.
Derrick Taylor has a non-public investigation firm in California.The Gavel
SpaceX is headquartered in Hawthorne, California – a brief drive away from Taylor’s home base in Irvine. Musk founded SpaceX and stays the corporate’s chairman and CEO.
SpaceX operates the “Starlink” satellite web service and is a federal contractor that incessantly collaborates with NASA as a part of its ongoing space exploration plans — including Musk’s long-term bid to succeed in Mars.
The Post couldn’t independently confirm Taylor’s claims of employment by Musk or SpaceX.
Taylor’s LinkedIn page notes that he began work as a non-public investigator in January 2018. He left the DHS in Sept. 2011 after greater than 21 years of service.
SpaceX representatives didn’t return The Post’s multiple requests for comment. Attempts to succeed in Musk’s camp weren’t immediately successful.
A person who answered to Derrick declined to comment when reached on the mobile phone number listed on the web site of Taylor’s company, DBM Private Investigator.
“I’ll seek advice from you later. I don’t have a comment as of now,” he said before hanging up.
Elon Musk is CEO of SpaceX.GC Images
Craig Miller, a longtime federal agent who works in DHS’s Emergency Relief Operations in Minneapolis, was indicted alongside Taylor in recent filings on Thursday.
The opposite three individuals — Fan “Frank” Liu, 62, of Jericho, Recent York, Matthew Ziburis, a 49-year-old from Oyster Bay and Qiang “Jason” Sun, 40, of China, were previously indicted in March. They’re accused of stalking and spying on US-based dissidents on behalf of the Chinese government.
The feds say Miller admitted under questioning that he provided the sensitive information from the restricted database to Taylor in exchange for a present card. Taylor allegedly shared the data with a “co-conspirator” who was working with Lui.
Taylor initially claimed he obtained the data on the dark web.
“Liu, Ziburis and Sun used this information to focus on and harass these U.S. residents while acting on behalf of the PRC government,” the DOJ said in a press release.
Taylor is charged with obstruction of justice and making a false statement to the FBI. He faces 25 years in prison. The DOJ said Taylor and the opposite defendants “will likely be arraigned at a later date.”
“As charged, these individuals aided agents of a foreign government in looking for to suppress dissenting voices who’ve taken refuge here,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew G. Olsen said in an announcement.
“The defendants include two sworn law enforcement officers who selected to forsake their oaths and violate the law. This indictment is the subsequent step in holding all of those defendants answerable for their crimes,” Olsen added.