Third Navy Official Charged in Singapore Bribery Scheme

A third U.S. Navy official was charged with receiving bribes, including cash and prostitutes, from a Singapore-based contractor who provides port services for American ships in Southeast Asia.

U.S. Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested yesterday in Tampa, Florida, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego. He’s accused of providing classified information to Leonard Glenn Francis, the chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) in Singapore, who was arrested in September.

Glenn Defense Marine provides hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services, including supplying food, water, fuel, tugboats and trash removal for the Navy ships in at least a dozen countries, according to the statement.

“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 in the statement.

Sanchez, who was deputy logistics officer for the commander of the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka, Japan, and later director of operations for Fleet Logistics Command in Singapore, provided Francis with Navy schedules and other classified information to help Glenn Defense Marine win business, according to the U.S. attorney’s statement.

‘Lion King’

Sanchez, who referred to Francis as “Lion King” and “Boss” in e-mails, received more than $100,000 in cash and prostitutes that Francis arranged for him and his friends in Kuala Lumpur and Manila, according to the statement.

In September, the U.S. attorney in San Diego charged Francis, a Navy commander and a Navy Criminal Investigative Service officer in the bribery scheme. Francis and the other two defendants have pleaded not guilty to the allegations. A Glenn Defense Marine employee in Singapore was accused of overbilling the Navy, according to yesterday’s statement.

The investigation is continuing, the U.S. attorney’s statement said.

Kelly Thornton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said prosecutors didn’t know whether Sanchez has retained a lawyer yet.

The case is U.S. v. Sanchez, 13-MJ-4027, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in federal court in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

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