From Port to Port, Testimony Particulars ‘Fats Leonard’s’ Alcohol- and Intercourse-Fueled Events

As a lieutenant commander in 2008, Stephen Shedd by no means thought of reporting the items and favors that he stated a number of the senior workers of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet exchanged with the navy contractor often known as ” Fats Leonard.”

For starters, Shedd himself was engaged in a lot of the identical alleged conduct — accepting lodge rooms, meals and the providers of prostitutes from Leonard Glenn Francis, the gregarious contractor nicknamed for his girth.

In addition to, even when Shedd had wished to report misconduct by his superiors, he had no confidence it might go anyplace.

“We had an understanding of mutually assured destruction,” Shedd testified Thursday to a jury. “We might all go down in flames or we might all be protected.”

The hammer ultimately fell, in 2017, when Shedd and eight different former naval officers have been collectively indicted on bribery and conspiracy allegations, as a part of Francis’ ongoing scheme to deprave strategically positioned navy members. Francis owned a Singapore-based husbanding firm, which serviced visiting Navy ships in ports throughout Asia, and he counted on the affect and intelligence of naval officers to assist him compete for contracts value thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

Shedd and three different co-defendants pleaded responsible earlier than trial. This week, Shedd took the witness stand, testifying in opposition to the remainder of his previous colleagues: Former Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless; former Capts. David Newland, James Dolan and David Lausman; and former Cmdr. Mario Herrera.

His testimony jumped from port to port — Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia — as he detailed the “Spring Swing” on which the Seventh Fleet’s command ship, the Blue Ridge, embarked in 2008.

Formally, the ship and its command workers have been making port calls to enhance naval relations with 5 overseas allies. Unofficially, it was an opportunity for a number of the highest-ranking officers to get together massive with Francis — attending connoisseur dinners, staying in posh lodge suites and socializing, usually privately, with prostitutes on his dime, Shedd stated.

Shedd, the fleet’s South Asia coverage and planning officer on the time, was among the many lowest rating of the bunch. He primarily acted as a go-between messenger for Francis and a number of the Blue Ridge officers, together with Lausman, Loveless and Dolan, in line with his testimony. He was key in organizing a number of “boys evening out” events that Francis hosted, together with coordinating schedules and speaking plans, he stated.

A lot of the coordination occurred over emails, lots of which have been exhibited to the jury.

He additionally joined in a number of the festivities himself.

In a lodge suite in Jakarta, Indonesia, Dolan, Loveless and one other officer have been entertained by Francis, Shedd stated. The host then paired every up with a prostitute, and hand-in-hand the {couples} left for personal rooms, Shedd testified.

With the essential visitors dealt with, Francis turned to Shedd, motioned to the remaining ladies within the suite and stated “Go forward if you would like,” Shedd recalled. So he did, grabbing a girl by the hand and having intercourse along with her in his personal room, he stated.

The group needed to be particularly covert that evening, Shedd testified, as a result of the admiral had issued a no-liberty coverage for that port go to, prohibiting sailors from leaving the ship except on official enterprise.

In Manila, it was much less of a plan. Simply meet up at Francis’ room, the opulent Presidential Suite on the Makati Shangri-La. The get together consisted of 9 navy members, together with Shedd, Loveless, Dolan and Lausman, plus prostitutes, Shedd testified. Some, together with Dolan, have been summoned into an adjoining workplace to fulfill privately with Francis, he stated, a observe he had seen earlier than.

The group was dancing and ingesting from a case of Dom Perignon or Cristal champagne that the butler had delivered to the room, Shedd stated. Once more, Francis paired off ladies with males, together with Loveless and Dolan, who left the get together for their very own rooms, Shedd stated.

The get together continued the next night in the identical vein, this time with 10 to fifteen ladies. Lausman was not current, Shedd stated. However he acknowledged he does not bear in mind way more. “I used to be fairly intoxicated,” he testified.

Because the go-between, Shedd stated he was additionally usually the one to go on the confidential navy info Francis was looking for, reminiscent of upcoming plans for ship actions. When the Navy went a unique path than anticipated and handed over Francis’ firm for a contract in Vladivostok, Russia, Shedd ran interference after coordinating with Lausman and Dolan, Shedd stated.

The group had particularly wished Francis to get the contract — he had promised in an earlier toast to host one other good time when the Blue Ridge arrived in Russia, Shedd stated.

The final outing Shedd organized was the autumn of 2008, days earlier than he was set to switch out of the Seventh Fleet for a submit in Tennessee. It was karaoke bar-hopping in Tokyo with Dolan, Francis and Herrera, he stated. On the recommendation of one other officer, Shedd was coaching Herrera to take over his Francis coordination duties, Shedd stated.

Francis had introduced alongside his personal feminine companion that evening, and so they befriended one other lady on the bar, nevertheless it was Shedd’s understanding that there have been no prostitutes on the agenda that night. Once they returned to their particular person rooms, one of many companions referred to as Shedd to complain {that a} man was banging on her door. It was a “fairly intoxicated” Dolan, Shedd testified.

He stated Dolan informed him within the hallway, “I need to get in there and (expletive) a type of women.”

Shedd stated he needed to wrestle Dolan, placing him right into a headlock, to get him to go to his room.

Shedd was later promoted to commander, attributing it to his arduous work within the Seventh Fleet but additionally to the relationships he had shaped with a number of the defendants.

He’s anticipated to proceed testimony on Monday, when he shall be cross-examined by the protection. Shedd is believed to be among the many closing few prosecution witnesses to testify within the trial, now in its tenth week, earlier than the protection places on its case.

This story initially appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.

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