And prosecutors have good reason for such suspicions: Beyond the items that Zhang had on her person when apprehended, she also had "nine thumb drives, five SIM cards for cellphones, about $8,000 in cash, several credit and debit cards, and a device used to detect hidden cameras" stowed away in her hotel room.
Yujing Zhang, the mystery Chinese "malware madam" who lied her way into President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago private resort last week was known to have a thumb drive with malicious malware installed but new reports suggest she may have been involved in some sort of espionage, CBS Miami reports.
Prosecutors previously said Zhang was carrying four cell phones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing what investigators described as "malicious malware".
Zhang arrived in Newark on a flight from Shanghai on March 28, Garcia said.
This may well be the case - but it says something troubling about the state of our national security if someone who is not a sanctioned and trained spy, who made such elementary mistakes in the course of intelligence gathering, was nonetheless able to briefly infiltrate a facility that frequently plays host to the President of the United States. She previously visited the U.S.in September 2018, December 2017, and July 2016, according to prosecutors.
Zhang is charged with lying to a federal agent and illegal entering.
The details came to light at a bond hearing on Monday in a Florida federal court.
Zhang's defense lawyer, Robert Adler, countered that she had paid businessman Charles Lee $20,000 for admittance to Mar-a-Lago for an event.
These are just a few of the revelations from Zhang's appearance in federal court Monday. She showed him an invitation in Chinese he could not read.
"The Mar-a-Lago club management determines which members and guests are granted access to the property", the agency said in its statement.
"She tells lies to everyone she encounters", he said.
The agency also didn't have a protocol to flag the amount or types of electronics Zhang carried with her - even though one had malware that even an agent performing an analysis on the device found to be unusual.
Subsequently, agents were alerted and they began to question Zhang, who was reportedly combative.
However, according to the New York Times, while Trump had privately become sceptical of Alles' standing among rank-and-file Secret Service personnel before Zhang's arrest, some officials at the service believe her ability to slip past security at Mar-a-Lago was a nail in the coffin. The prosecutor added that the currency contradicted Zhang's claim to police that she had only $5,000 in a Wells Fargo bank account.
After being questioned for about 90 minutes at a property neighboring Mar-a-Lago, Zhang was taken to the local Secret Service office for questioning that lasted about seven hours. Agents say that when they asked Zhang if the member was her father, she did not answer definitively but they thought it might be a language barrier and admitted her. Zhang is a common Chinese name - about 7 percent of the country's population carries it.
There's been some dispute over how well Ms Zhang speaks and understands English, though the court did provide her with a language interpreter at the previous court hearing.