This photo provided by Alexandria Sheriff’s Office shows Kevin Mallory.  Prosecutors and defense attorneys will be asking for vastly different prison terms as Mallory, a former CIA officer is formally sentenced for spying for China. A jury convicted Mallory  in 2018 under the Espionage Act for providing top secret information to Chinese handlers in exchange for $25,000. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office via AP)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has delayed sentencing for an ex-CIA officer accused of spying for China.

A jury convicted Kevin Mallory of Leesburg, Virginia, last year for providing top secret information to Chinese handlers in exchange for $25,000. He was arrested in 2017 after he was discovered with more than $16,000 in undeclared cash on a return flight from Shanghai.

He was scheduled for sentencing Thursday afternoon in Alexandria. After holding a closed hearing, the judge rescheduled sentencing for April 26.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys differ markedly on the severity of Mallory's misconduct.

Defense attorneys argue the information Mallory provided was practically worthless and his actions stemmed from financial desperation. They seek a term no longer than 10 years.

Prosecutors want a life sentence, saying Mallory intentionally put human assets at risk.