Another defendant in the largest corruption scandal in the U.S. Navy’s history has now pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for top secret information. Former Navy Commander Troy Amundson admitted to accepting money, prostitutes, and other luxuries from the Singapore-based defense contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis. According to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in California, Amundson apparently accepted lavish dinners, items, entertainment expenses, and multiple sex workers from Francis between September 2012 through October 2013. The 50-year-old U.S. Navy officer then reportedly leaked confidential information regarding the fleet’s destinations and often led ships to dock in ports where Francis’ company was operating.
U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman mentioned in a statement that Amundson had turned his back on his country and his Navy by associating himself with a foreign defense contractor in exchange for money and prostitutes. Further investigation into the case has also revealed that several United States Navy officers had received millions of dollars in bribes along with other trinkets and supplies such as watches, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef, concert tickets, furniture, and designer clothing. As reported by CNN, federal court documents also revealed that Francis apparently threw lavish sex parties for Navy personnel and officers at least a couple of dozen times.
Francis, who is often referred to as “Fat Leonard” due to his 400-pound weight, owns and operates Glenn Defense Marine Asia. The company supplies fuel, tugboats, sewage removal, food and other services to visiting naval ships. As reported by the Washington Post, court documents revealed that Francis’ company often overcharged the Navy for supplies and services.
Several ships, including the flagship of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, the USS Blue Ridge, are reportedly involved in the scandal. There are currently more than 440 officers and crew members that are under investigation for possible violations of ethics rules and military law. Among those that are under investigation, 31 U.S. Navy officers have already been criminally charged. Amundson is the 20th high ranking officer to plead guilty, and he is now facing up to five years in prison along with a $250,000 fine. Francis, the Malaysian national who is the center of the entire scandal, had already pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery charges back in 2015.