History teacher Tracy Walder Identified Chinese Criminals

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Walder’s knowledge of purses helped her solve the Chinese conspiracy case

In 2005, Upper School history teacher and former Central Intelligence Agency agent Tracy Walder was working in the Chinese counter-intelligence department. She was following Los Angeles electrician Chi Mak, his wife Rebecca Chiu and his brother Tai Mak who were suspected of conspiring to export U.S. defense technology to China. They had also claimed to be dirt poor.

One day at the office where she worked, Walder walked past a photo of the family displayed on a computer screen. Chiu had a Louis Vuitton bag hanging from her arm. After listening to their conversations and extracting intelligence, Walder found it perplexing how a family that claimed to be so poor could afford a high-end designer bag. Further digging revealed that the family had been stealing money from the government.

Walder’s knowledge of her Louis Vuitton purses had aided in the investigation. Later, all three of them were arrested under suspicion of unlawful export of defense articles and gathering defense information.

– Sydney Yonack