Navy Bribe Scandal Expands: Three Charged With Trading Secrets
… and you know the story contains some major Elmore Leonard-style bad behavior when one of the protagonists is known as “Fat Leonard”:
The number of senior U.S. Navy officials accused of swapping secrets for bribes that included cash, prostitutes and high-end travel has grown to three.
Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez in Tampa, Fla. and will seek to have him sent to San Diego to face allegations that he accepted $100,000 in cash, visits from prostitutes and other bribes from a Malaysian contractor. Prosecutors allege that in exchange for the bribes, the 41-year-old Sanchez passed on classified U.S. Navy information to Leonard Glenn Francis, known in Navy circles as “Fat Leonard,” the CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA.
Sanchez’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Francis’s company has serviced Navy ships in the Pacific for 25 years and is accused of overbilling the Pentagon by millions. His contracts have now been suspended.
The arrest marks the latest development in the case rocking the Navy. The accusations signal serious national security breaches and corruption and has set off high-level meetings at the Pentagon with the threat that more people, including those of higher ranks, could be swept up as the investigation continues. A hearing Nov. 8 could set a trial date.
“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,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said after Wednesday’s arrest.