More fallout likely as Navy scandal widens
WASHINGTON — More discipline and possible charges will stem from the widening scandal involving a Malaysian defense contractor who allegedly bribed officers with prostitutes and showered them with gifts to steer business his way, a top Navy official said on Monday.
The crimes and unethical behavior tarred high-ranking officials on Friday when the Navy announced that a three-star admiral and his two-star subordinate had their access to classified information suspended for their suspected connection to Leonard Francis, the chief of Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
They probably won't be the last, Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy's top spokesman, said.
“We are going to let the facts take us where they may,” Kirby said. “We certainly expect that other naval officers, and perhaps even some Navy civilians, will be implicated.”
Federal prosecutors say the scheme involved Navy officers providing Francis with classified information about ship movements in Southeast Asia. Francis allegedly used the information to win and maintain Navy business. The company allegedly overcharged the Navy and submitted bogus invoices for millions of dollars.
Glenn Defense, based in Singapore, provides hundreds of millions of dollars of services to the Navy throughout the Pacific. It supplies food, water, fuel, tugboats, security, transportation, trash and sewage disposal to ships and submarines.
Social media posts, texts and emails provide damning and embarrassing details about the case. Navy Cmdr. Jose Sanchez, 41, asked Francis in October 2009 for photos of the prostitutes the latter was to provide Sanchez as “motivation,” according to the Justice Department.
“Yummy ... daddy like,” Sanchez purportedly sent in a Facebook message to Francis. Sanchez called Francis the “Lion King” and “Boss” in his emails, while Francis referred to Sanchez as “brudda,” according to prosecutors.