SAN DIEGO -- The Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed another indictment in the on-going “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal. Named in the indictment are retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless and eight other high-ranking Navy officers.
The nine were charged with accepting luxury travel, elaborate dinners and services of prostitutes from foreign defense contractor Leonard Francis – a.k.a. “Fat Leonard” -- the former chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), in exchange for classified and internal U.S. Navy information. Francis, a Singapore defense contractor has already pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy of tens of millions of dollars.
Including Tuesday’s indictment, a total of 25 named individuals have been charged in connection with the corruption and fraud investigation into GDMA, a defense-contracting firm based in Singapore. Of those charged, 20 are current or former U.S. Navy officials and five are GDMA executives. To date, 13 have pleaded guilty while several other cases are pending.
Nine defendants were arrested on various charges including bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators when confronted about their actions.
Four of the defendants are retired captains: David Newland, 60, of San Antonio, Texas, James Dolan, 58, of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, David Lausman, 62, of The Villages, Florida, and Donald Hornbeck, 56, a resident of the United Kingdom.
The other defendants arrested today included: Colonel Enrico Deguzman, 48, of Honolulu, Hawaii, retired Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch, 48, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, retired Rear Admiral Bruce Lovelace, 48, of San Diego, California, active duty Lieutenant Commander Stephen Shedd, 48, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and active duty Commander Mario Herrera, 48, of Helotes, Texas.
The defendants were arrested in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and Virginia. The United States will seek to move all of these cases to federal court in San Diego, California. Admiral Loveless was taken into custody at his home in Coronado and was expected to make his first appearance in federal court Tuesday.
According to the indictment, the Navy officers allegedly participated in a bribery scheme withFrancis, in which the officers accepted travel and entertainment expenses, the services of prostitutes and lavish gifts in exchange for helping to steep lucrative contracts to Francis and GDMA and to sabotage competing defense contractors. The defendants allegedly violated many of their sworn official naval duties, including duties related to the handling of classified information and duties related to the identification and reporting of foreign intelligence threats. According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly worked in concert to recruit new members for the conspiracy, and to keep the conspiracy secret by using fake names and foreign email service providers. According to the indictment, the bribery scheme allegedly cost the Navy – and U.S. taxpayers – tens of millions of dollars.
“The defendants in this indictment were entrusted with the honor and responsibility of administering the operations of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, which is tasked with protecting our nation by guarding an area of responsibility that spanned from Russia to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco. “With this honor and awesome responsibility came a duty to make decisions based on the best interests of the Navy and the 40,000 Sailors and Marines under their care who put their lives at risk every day to keep us secure and free. Unfortunately, however, these defendants are alleged to have sold their honor and responsibility in exchange for personal enrichment.”
“This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, and it was allegedly carried out by the Navy’s highest-ranking officers,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson. “The alleged conduct amounts to a staggering degree of corruption by the most prominent leaders of the Seventh Fleet – the largest fleet in the U.S. Navy - actively worked together as a team to trade secrets for sex, serving the interests of a greedy foreign defense contractor, and not those of their own country.”