AP

4 ex-Navy officers convicted in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery trial

Jun 29, 2022, 7:12 PM | Updated: 7:35 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Four of five former U.S. naval officers were convicted Wednesday of conspiracy, bribery and fraud as part of the “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal.

The five were the last of 34 defendants to stand trial on charges they were bought off by the Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Francis, who prosecutors said plied them with prostitutes, Cuban cigars and free hotel stays, among other things.

A federal jury convicted former Capts. David Newland, James Dolan and David Lausman and former Cmdr. Mario Herrera of conspiracy to commit bribery, receiving bribes, and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, the U.S. attorney’s office announced.

The jury deadlocked and reached no verdict on charges against a fifth defendant, former Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless.

The case has centered around Francis, who admitted in 2015 to offering $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers. In exchange, the officers passed him classified information and even went so far as redirecting military vessels to ports that were lucrative for his Singapore-based ship servicing company.

Prosecutors say Francis and his company overcharged the U.S. military by more than $35 million for its services.

Francis, who is scheduled to be sentenced in July, has been cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice since his arrest in 2013.

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4 ex-Navy officers convicted in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery trial