UNITED STATES NEWS

Retired Navy admiral arrested in bribery case linked to government contract

May 31, 2024, 1:46 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A retired four-star admiral who was once the Navy’s second highest ranking officer was arrested Friday on charges that he helped a company secure a government contract for a training program in exchange for a lucrative job with the firm.

Robert Burke, who served as vice chief of naval operations, faces federal charges including bribery and conspiracy for what prosecutors allege was a corrupt scheme that led to the company hiring him after his retirement in 2022 with a starting annual salary of $500,000. He oversaw naval operations in Europe, Russia, and most of Africa.

Also charged in the case are Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, who are co-chief executive officers of the company. The company is not named in court papers, but Kim and Messenger are named as the CEOs on the website for a company called NextJump, which provides training programs.

“The law does not make exceptions for admirals or CEOs. Those who pay and receive bribes must be held accountable,” said Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. “The urgency is at its greatest when, as here, senior government officials and senior executives are allegedly involved in the corruption.”

Burke, 62, of Coconut Creek, Florida, made his initial appearance in Miami on Friday but didn’t enter a plea during the hearing, according to defense attorney Timothy Parlatore. The lawyer said Burke will plead not guilty and intends to clear his name at trial.

“I think a jury will see through this,” Parlatore said.

Burke conditionally retired from the Navy on July 31, 2022. Senior officers will often conditionally retire if there are administrative matters pending.

Rear Adm. Ryan Perry said the Department of the Navy has fully cooperated with the investigation.

“We take this matter very seriously and will continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice,” Perry said in a statement.

Kim and Messenger’s company provided a workforce training pilot program to a component of the Navy from August 2018 through July 2019. The Navy terminated the pilot program in late 2019 and directed the company not to contact Burke.

But the two company executives arranged to meet with Burke in Washington, D.C., in July 2021. During the meeting, Kim and Messenger proposed that Burke use his Navy position to steer them a contract in exchange for future employment at the company, the indictment alleges.

In December 2021, Burke ordered his staff to award a $355,000 contract to train personnel under Burke’s command in Italy and Spain, according to the indictment. Burke began working at the company in October 2022.

Parlatore noted that the value of that contract was smaller than Burke’s starting salary.

“There was no connection between this contract and his employment.” Parlatore said. “The math just doesn’t make sense that he would give them this relatively small contract for that type of a job offer.”

___

Associated Press writer Lolita C, Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

United States News

Associated Press

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty in deal with US and return to Australia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty to a felony charge in a deal with the U.S. Justice Department that will resolve a long-running legal saga that spanned multiple continents and centered on the publication of a trove of classified documents, according to court papers filed late Monday. Assange is scheduled to […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Sen. Bob Menendez’s Egypt trip planning got ‘weird,’ Senate staffer recalls at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A Senate staffer testified at a bribery trial that planning for Sen. Bob Menendez’s 2021 trip to Egypt and Qatar got “weird” after the Democrat directed that Egypt be included in the process, a Senate staffer testified Monday. Sarah Arkin, a senior staffer with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, testified as […]

2 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A preview of Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate

Arizona Congressional District 8 Republican Debate is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, but Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson consider the candidates running in that district.

2 hours ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: A look at the state of Arizona politics amid primary debates

As the Arizona primary election debates continue, Chris Merrill and guest host Barry Markson take a closer look at the current state of politics in the 48th state. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Wisconsin taxpayers to pay half the cost of redistricting consultants hired by Supreme Court

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin taxpayers will pay half of the $128,000 bill submitted by redistricting consultants hired by the state’s Supreme Court for the work they did reviewing proposed legislative maps, the liberal majority of the court ordered Monday. Conservative justices dissented, sharply criticizing the majority for hiring the consultants and not divulging more […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge sets $10 million bond for Venezuelan man accused of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl

HOUSTON (AP) — A judge in Texas set bond of $10 million Monday for an undocumented Venezuelan man accused of killing a 12-year-old Houston girl whose body was found in a creek after she disappeared during a walk to a convenience store. Franklin Jose Peña Ramos, 26, is one of two men charged with capital […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Retired Navy admiral arrested in bribery case linked to government contract