Another high-ranking naval officer is accused of selling classified information for sex, as a sprawling international bribery and overbilling scheme threatens to engulf the U.S. Navy.
ABC News reported that Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday for allegedly providing secret ship movements to Singapore-based contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which used the information to overcharge the Navy for its port services throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
In return, Sanchez received $100,000 in cash, ritzy international travel accommodations and the company of several prostitutes.
It’s an expansion of an already massive corruption investigation. The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported on the September arrests of Navy Commander Michael Misiewicz and NCIS agent John Beliveau, two prominent Navy officials also charged with providing secrets to Glenn Defense Marine CEO Leonard Francis.
Apparently not particularly creative, Francis also repaid the two in whores and expensive travel (although Misiewicz did manage to score some Lady Gaga tickets).
“According to the allegations in this case, a number of officials were willing to sacrifice their integrity and millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in a statement.
By Arturo Garcia, Raw Story
Three U.S. Navy officers have been arrested for their connections to a Malaysian military contractor who allegedly supplied them with prostitutes, hotel rooms and concert tickets in exchange for classified information.
According to CNN, Leonard Francis — known as “Fat Leonard” in military circles — appeared in court on Friday alongside 46-year-old Cmdr. Michael Vannak Kem Misiewicz, who reportedly redirected U.S. vessels to ports where Francis would bill the Navy at exhorbitant rates through his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd.
The Associated Press reported that 41-year-old Cmdr. Jose Luiz Sanchez and 44-year-old John Bertrand Beliveau II, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), were also arrested. Beliveau is accused of keeping Francis abreast of the investigation into his activities.
Francis, whose nickname stems from his allegedly weighing more than 400 pounds, allegedly paid for his co-conspirators’ services with material goods, hotel rooms and other perks like giving Misiewicz tickets to see the musical The Lion King and a Lady Gaga concert. CNN reported that Misiewicz and Francis often communicated via email, and referred to each other as “Little Bro” and “Big Bro,” respectively.
By Tony Perry, LA Times
Two Navy admirals have been put on leave and their access to classified material suspended while they are investigated as part of a bribery case involving services provided to U.S. ships in ports in the Asia-Pacific region, the Navy announced Friday.
Five people have already been charged: two Navy commanders, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and two foreign businessmen.
Vice Adm. Ted Branch, director of Naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, director of intelligence operations, have been put on leave and their access to classified material suspended, Navy spokesman Rear Adm. John F. Kirby announced in Washington.
“The allegations against Admirals Branch and Loveless involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments and flag officer rank,” Kirby said. “There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information.”
The Navy’s statement did not reveal the nature of the allegations nor who is making them. The case is being investigated by the NCIS.
“It is important to note that allegations are just that, allegations,” Kirby said. “Neither officer has been charged with any crime or violation. Both men retain their rank and security clearances.”
The Navy’s statement came as two of the defendants – Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis – appeared in federal court in San Diego. A third defendant, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau II – was represented by his attorney.
Two other defendants – Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and Alex Wisidagama, an employee of Francis’s Singapore-based company – will appear at separate hearings.
WASHINGTON : The US Navy has stripped two admirals of access to classified information in connection with a widening bribery scandal involving prostitutes and lucrative government contracts in Asia, officials said Friday.
Three senior naval officers have already been arrested in the probe and the announcement signaled a spreading corruption scandal that implicated members of the top echelons of the navy.
Vice Admiral Ted Branch, director of naval intelligence, and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, director of intelligence operations, were temporarily barred from viewing classified material based on allegations linked “with an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation” into illegal dealings with the chief of a defense contractor, Navy spokesman Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.
“The suspension was deemed prudent given the sensitive nature their current duties and to protect and support the integrity of the investigative process,” Kirby said.
The two admirals faced allegations “that involve inappropriate conduct prior to their current assignments” and before their current rank, he said.
There was no indication either of the officers had breached classified information, he added.
At the center of the case is a Malaysian businessman, Leonard Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery by US authorities.
Francis allegedly sought to secure multi-million dollar government contracts to provide food and supplies to US naval ships traveling through Asia, in exchange for bribes that included offers of prostitutes, luxury travel and other perks.
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