A retired naval officer admitted in federal court in San Diego to sending a Malaysian defense contractor known as “Fat Leonard” to classified ship schedules for the Navy’s Seventh Fleet in exchange of over $ 45,000 in bribes, including stays in luxury hotels.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch also admitted in court on Tuesday that he had created a secret email account to help Leonard Francis’ ship maintenance business.
Prosecutors said Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia and its owner, known by his nickname “Fat Leonard,” bribed Navy officers with fancy gifts, trips and prostitutes to provide classified information in order to beat the competition and overcharge for services.
The plan cost the Navy some $ 35 million.
“Gorsuch basically sold his honor for a few nights at the Shangri-La,” Acting US Attorney Randy Grossman said.
Gorsuch and his lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case has resulted in federal criminal charges against 34 Navy officials, defense contractors, including Francis, and Glenn Defense Marine Asia. So far, 26 of them have pleaded guilty.
Gorsuch was one of nine members of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet indicted in March 2017 for playing a role in one of the Navy’s worst corruption scandals.
The remaining eight defendants from the Seventh Fleet, who are charged with exchanging military secrets and exerting considerable influence over sex parties with prostitutes, extravagant dinners and luxury trips, are due to appear on trial on the 1st. November.
They include US Navy Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless; Capts. David Newland, James Dolan, Donald Hornbeck and David Lausman; Colonel Enrico DeGuzman; Lieutenant Commander Stephen Shedd; and Cmdr. Mario Herrera.