Federal prosecutors have dropped the costs towards a retired Navy rear admiral who was concerned with a gaggle of officers convicted over their dealings with Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, higher generally known as “Fats Leonard.”
A federal decide dismissed the case towards Bruce Loveless, a onetime Navy officer who served because the assistant chief of workers for Intelligence for the Pacific-based Seventh Fleet and one in every of its smaller activity teams from round 2005 to 2008.
Loveless, alongside 4 different Navy officers, confronted a spread of prices together with conspiracy, bribery, mendacity to investigators and fraud. In response to the indictment, the group took “a stream of advantages … together with meals, leisure, journey and resort bills, presents, money, and the companies of prostitutes” in trade for funneling enterprise to Francis’ firm, Glenn Protection Marine Asia.
In response to court docket paperwork, Loveless was current for a number of lavish dinners together with different Navy officers the place Leonard would spend 1000’s. One dinner cited within the indictment occurred on Jan. 29, 2008, when the Seventh Fleet command ship, USS Blue Ridge, pulled into Hong Kong.
Francis paid for a dinner within the Alsace Room of the Petrus Restaurant for Loveless — then a captain — in addition to Navy Capts. James Dolan and David Lausman and three others.
“Dinner that night was an eight course meal, that includes black truffle soup, rock lobster salad, oscietra caviar, pan-seared duck liver with pear and sunchoke, Dover sole, grilled Wagyu beef tenderloin Rossini, a number of high quality cheeses, and baked Alaska for dessert,” the court docket doc stated.
The tab ran over $18,000.
About two weeks later, Francis requested Lausman, the manager officer of the USS Abraham Lincoln on the time, to ship “a bravo zulu letter” — a proper Navy congratulatory letter — trumpeting the assist Francis’ firm supplied to high Navy officers within the area. Lausman did so.
One other attendee of that dinner, Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Shedd, on the time the fleet’s South Asia coverage and planning officer, emailed Francis the categorised, deliberate actions for quite a lot of Navy ships and submarines. These particulars enabled Francis to bilk the Navy by means of inflated costs on items and companies like gasoline, water, meals and tugboats supplied by his firm.
When Loveless’ time with the Seventh Fleet ended, he moved on to grow to be the Navy’s director of intelligence operations on the Pentagon and was promoted to rear admiral. In November 2013, when it grew to become clear that he was being investigated for his alleged involvement within the rising fiasco, he was positioned on depart. He retired in 2016.
The San Diego Tribune reported that Loveless’ attorneys argued in court docket that, whereas their consumer appeared in a number of emails and attended a few of the paid dinners, he didn’t present Francis with any insider data.
In the end, earlier this summer season the jury within the case would convict Dolan and Lausman in addition to Capt. David Newland — on the time, chief of workers to the commander of the Seventh Fleet — and Cmdr. Mario Herrera, the fleet’s scheduling and operations officer, of conspiracy, bribery and fraud. It will additionally convict Lausman of obstruction of justice.
Jurors deadlocked on the costs towards Loveless.
Since these verdicts got here down in late June, Francis, who was beneath home arrest in San Diego, cooperating with authorities and awaiting his personal sentencing, escaped, and officers have supplied a $40,000 reward for data resulting in his seize.
Only a week after that information broke, prosecutors moved to dismiss their prices towards Loveless and never search a retrial. It isn’t clear whether or not the 2 occasions are linked, nevertheless.
In response to USNI reporting, of the 34 army officers charged by federal prosecutors within the Fats Leonard scandal, 29 pleaded responsible, and 4 have been convicted at trial. Dozens extra have been investigated or in any other case tainted by the scandal. Some obtained administrative punishments or censures from the Navy.
— Konstantin Toropin will be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comply with him on Twitter @ktoropin.
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