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Navy bribery scandal spreads as third officer arrested

A third high-ranking Navy officer has been charged in a widening bribery scandal involving a Singapore-based defense contractor that funneled prostitutes, money and luxury travel in exchange for classified information.
Posted By Gabrielle Levy   |   Nov. 7, 2013 at 4:44 PM   |   Comments

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(UPI) -- A third high-ranking Navy officer has been charged in a widening bribery scandal involving a Singapore-based defense contractor that funneled prostitutes, money and luxury travel in exchange for classified information.

Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday for accepting escorts, luxury hotels, first-class plane tickets and $100,000 in cash from Leonard Francis, the Malaysian owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a vessel husbandry firm.

Francis allegedly used these handouts to Sanchez to defraud the Pentagon out of millions of dollars in overcharges, federal prosecutors said.

“According to the allegations in this case, a number of officials were willing to sacrifice their integrity and millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gratification,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said.

Two other high-ranking Navy officers, Cmdr. Michael Vannak Kem Misiewcz, 46, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II, 44, were also arrested in connected bribery charges.

Misiewicz allegedly sent sensitive information to Francis in exchange for gifts such as tickets to concerts and theater. For his part, Beliveu is charged with sending Francis reports of investigations into GDMA in exchange for perks.

Francis was also arrested and the Navy said it would seek to transfer him to San Diego to face charges.

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