Thursday, June 11, 2020

Two Retired U.S. Navy Officials Plead Guilty In "Fat Leonard' Bribery Prosecution

Two Kristina Davis at the San Diego Union-Tribune offers a piece on two more Navy officials involved in the "Fat Leonard" scandal.

Two retired Navy officials admitted Tuesday to corrupt conduct in the “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal, adding to the nearly two-dozen guilty pleas already entered in the long-running San Diego-based prosecution.

Retired Capt. David Williams Haas (seen in the above photo) and retired Chief Petty Officer Brooks Alonzo Parks were indicted separately on the same day in 2018, accused of accepting the now-familiar bribes of lavish hotel rooms, high-roller parties and pricey booze from Malaysian contractor Leonard Glenn Francis. In return, the service members helped route Navy ships to Southeast Asia ports controlled by Francis, a charismatic figure nicknamed for his girth.

Each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in San Diego federal court in sessions conducted via teleconference due to the COVID-19 emergency.

They are among a long string of Navy officials — ranking as high as rear admiral — who’ve been charged in the military’s worst corruption scandal in history.

Of the 33 defendants who have been charged in the U.S., 19 are current or former Navy officials who have pleaded guilty. Francis, who has been in poor health, has yet to be sentenced five years after entering his guilty plea, indicating continued cooperation in the far-reaching probe.

Nine others continue to head toward trial. 

Haas was a captain on the Blue Ridge, a 7th Fleet command ship from which Francis heavily recruited allies.

Haas admitted to accepting bribes valued at $91,000, including access to a multi-day party in Indonesia called “Cinderella Liberty” that included dinner, nightclub entertainment and the services of prostitutes. Another two-day party in Toyko reportedly cost $75,000. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my Counterterrorism magazine piece on the Fat Leonard (seen in the above photo) scandal via the below link: 

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