Top Navy Intel Officers Face Bribery Probe
The Navy has stripped Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless of their access to classified materials.By Elizabeth Hagedorn | November 9, 2013
It’s the latest development in the growing bribery scandal that’s rocked the U.S. Navy. Two of its top intelligence officers have been placed on temporary leave.
Director of Naval intelligence Vice Adm. Ted Branch and director of Intelligence Operations Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, have been stripped of their access to classified materials. (Via Los Angeles Times)
They are the highest ranking officers implicated in the corruption invesitgation that first began back in 2010. (Via MSNBC)
The Navy said in a statement there was no indication there was any breach of classified information but "the suspension was deemed prudent given the sensitive nature of their current duties." (Via The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Both were accused of "inappropriate conduct" involving their connection to Singapore-based defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia. (Via The Washington Post)
Specifically, the Navy says the two admirals were under investigation for “illegal and improper relations” with the contractor's chief executive Leonard Francis — otherwise known as Fat Leonard. (Via CNN)
He’s accused of bribing officers with prostitutes, lavish vacations, Lady Gaga concert tickets and other kickbacks — all in exchange for confidential Navy information like ship movements. (Via NBC)
The prosecution alleges his firm overcharged the Pentagon millions in food and fuel costs and even invented tariffs. Prosecutors say his allegedly illegal business dealings cost taxpayers more than $10 million. (Via KNSD)
Three lower level Navy commanders have been charged in the case and pleaded not guilty. As for Francis, he was arrested in September and his contracts with the Navy have been suspended.