BREAKING NEWS California to let schools, gyms, bars reopen next week Full Story

US Navy commander pleads guilty to bribery charge in 'Fat Leonard' scandal

The largest corruption scandal in US Navy history has claimed another high-ranking officer following a guilty plea fr...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 5:28 PM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 5:29 PM

The largest corruption scandal in US Navy history has claimed another high-ranking officer following a guilty plea from a commander who once controlled the service's joint military exercises.

Former US Navy Cmdr. Troy Amundson, 50, admitted taking bribes, including accepting the services of several prostitutes, from foreign contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as "Fat Leonard," and his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Former US Navy commander accepted bribes including services of Mongolian prostitutes from contractor, prosecutors said

Troy Amundson was responsible for US Navy's exercises with foreign navies from May 2005 to May 2013

In exchange, he sent US Navy business to the company, according to a statement from the US Attorney Office in San Diego, California.

"Amundson admitted that from September 2012 through October 2013, Francis paid for dinner, drinks, transportation, other entertainment expenses, and the services of prostitutes for Amundson and other US Navy officers," the US attorney's statement said.

The "Fat Leonard" investigation began in 2013, and so far 20 of 29 defendants charged have pleaded guilty. Francis, whose nickname comes from his then 400-pound heft, admitted bribery and fraud charges in 2015.

Amundson, of Ramsey, Minnesota, was responsible for coordinating exercises with foreign navies from May 2005 to May 2013, according to the US Attorney's statement. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

After he was interviewed by federal investigators in October 2013, Amundson deleted all correspondence between himself and Francis from his private email account, the statement said.

In one of those emails, Amundson promised to give proprietary US Navy information to Francis, prosecutors said.

"Handoff?... (My friend), your program is awesome. I (Amundson) am a small dog just trying to get a bone... however I am very happy with my small program. I still need five minutes to pass some data when we can meet up. Cannot print," Amundson wrote, according to the US attorney's statement.

Shortly after that email was sent, Francis arranged for several prostitutes from Mongolia to be sent to Amundson, prosecutors said.

Amundson "deliberately, methodically, and repeatedly traded his public office for entertainment expenses and the services of prostitutes, and in so doing, aligned himself with a foreign defense contractor over his Navy, his colleagues and his country," US Attorney Adam Braverman said in the statement. Amundson's sentencing in scheduled for April 27. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Along with prostitutes, Francis and his company provided scores of US Navy officers with tens of millions of dollars in bribes, including cash, luxury travel, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pigs, prosecutors said.

In exchange the US Navy officials steered ships to ports where Francis' company operated, providing service such as fuel and tugboats.

In March 2017, acting US Attorney Alana Robinson described the "Fat Leonard" scandal as "fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, (which) was allegedly carried out by the Navy's highest-ranking officers."

The scandal has touched on capitals and ports across the Pacific, including Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 125738

Reported Deaths: 4529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles610682569
Riverside8777355
San Diego7940288
Orange7064174
San Bernardino5930217
Alameda3725101
Santa Clara2892144
San Francisco269843
Imperial256833
Kern253445
San Mateo229988
Tulare211692
Fresno201440
Santa Barbara173714
Contra Costa157738
Sacramento151959
Kings14526
Ventura121635
San Joaquin105036
Stanislaus81631
Monterey64010
Sonoma6104
Solano56522
Marin53017
Merced3207
San Luis Obispo2911
Placer2659
Santa Cruz2212
Yolo21624
Madera1413
Napa1293
Humboldt1044
San Benito1022
El Dorado1020
Butte651
Sutter512
Nevada491
Del Norte470
Shasta424
Mono371
Mendocino330
Yuba311
Lake300
Inyo201
Calaveras190
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Tehama71
Colusa70
Lassen60
Tuolumne50
Plumas40
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 72°
Oroville
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Paradise
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 72°
Chester
Scattered Clouds
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
Red Bluff
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 66°
Willows
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 72°
Much cooler with gusty winds and the potential for active weather this weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events