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Monday
Mar282016

Fat Leonard's ‘Golden Asset’: U.S. Navy captain jailed 46 months, tells of floating brothel

Capt. Daniel Dusek, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (Image courtesy of Wiki Commons)The highest-ranking Navy officer charged in the massive "Fat Leonard" bribery scandal was sentenced in federal court Friday to 46 months in prison.

Capt. Daniel Dusek gave classified information to foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis -- also known as Fat Leonard -- in exchange for prostitutes, luxury travel, and other gifts.

Judge Janis Sammartino also ordered Dusek, 49, to pay a $70,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the Navy.

She ordered Dusek, 49, to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on June 15.

He pleaded guilty in January 2015 to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Dusek said he used his influence as Deputy Director of Operations for the 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, and later as executive officer of the USS Essex, and the commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard, to benefit Francis and his company, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

GDMA provided port services to U.S. Navy ships for decades.

Dusek admitted that "Francis plied him with meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes," the DOJ said.

Dusek gave Francis classified information about the movement and scheduled port calls for U.S. Navy ships throughout Asia.

Francis bought a decommissioned British naval ship and converted it into a party boat to entertain top U.S. Navy officials, Dusek said.

The ship, originally known as the RFA Sir Lancelot, was rechristened the Glenn Braveheart after Francis bought it in 2003, according to the Washington Post.

"Dusek also said that Francis had a traveling squad of prostitutes and strippers -- dubbed his 'Thai SEAL Team' -- who accompanied him to greet U.S. ships as they arrived in Asian ports," the report said.

Dusek gave a GDMA employee “unfettered access” to the USS Blue Ridge, headquarters ship for the 7th Fleet, which oversees all Navy operations in Asia.

In his plea agreement, Dusek said he hand-delivered Navy ship schedules to the GDMA office in Japan or emailed them directly to Francis or other GDMA employees "dozens of times."

Dusek was so helpful to GDMA that an employee called him “an official GDMA card holder.”

In one example, GDMA rewarded Dusek with a hotel room at the Shangri-La in Makati, Philippines and while there provided him with the services of a prostitute, the DOJ said.

Francis referred to Dusek as GDMA's "Golden Asset."

During Friday's sentencing hearing, Judge Sammartino told Dusek: “It’s truly unimaginable to the court that someone in your position with the United States Navy would sell out based on what was provided to you -- hotel rooms, entertainment, and the services of prostitutes.”

She said Dusek’s actions “potentially jeopardized national security.”

On September 2013, Dusek deleted his email accounts when her learned that Francis and Navy personnel had been arrested.

So far in the scandal, 10 individuals have been charged. Of those, nine have pleaded guilty.

They include Dusek, Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug.

Former Department of Defense civilian employee Paul Simpkins is waiting for his trial.

Last week, Alex Wisidagama, 42, a Singaporean who worked for GDMA, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison. He was accused of defrauding the U.S. Navy of $34 million by inflating GDMA's invoices.

In January, the Navy's Dan Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison and Todd Malaki was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Three rear admirals including the commander of naval forces in Japan announced their retirements in early 2015 after the secretary of the Navy censured them for the bribery scandal.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said Friday, "Captain Dusek took an oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the United States. Instead, he chose self-interest, greed, and prurience.”

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.